Canadians will be feted with a spectacular evening night show as the first of four total lunar eclipses starts on early Tuesday morning.
"We've actually had this cosmic dry spell that we've been under that's lasted over 2½ years now," Andrew Fazekas, a spokesman for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, said. "So we finally break that spell with this really beautiful total lunar eclipse where the full moon will turn an orangey-red in colour in the overnight period Monday night into Tuesday, April 14th to the 15th."
Unlike with solar eclipses, lunar eclipses can be viewed even with just the naked eyes. "You can see this one - even within city limits - just using your eyes ... You don't need binoculars and it's totally safe to see a lunar eclipse."
Andrew Fraknoi, chair of the astronomy department at Foothill College in Los Alto Hills, said it's going to be "one of the most democratic of astronomical phenomena," he said. "Everyone around the U.S. and Canada will be able to see it. It will be visual over anywhere you can see the full moon."
People in both North and South America have the opportunity starting about 2 am on early Tuesday morning to observe a full lunar eclipse, which according to NASA will turn the moon to turn a dusty, coppery red colour.
At 12:58 am CDT Tuesday, the moon will move into Earth's shadow. The full lunar eclipse -- when the entirety of the moon is shaded by Earth -- begins just over an hour later at 2:07 am and lasts until 3:25 am.
What makes this total lunar eclipse particularly noteworthy to doomsday sayers is that it coincides with the Jewish holiday of Passover, a celebration of the death angel's passing over those Jews who had painted their door posts with lambs' blood.
According to Joel 2:31 in the Common English Bible, the tetrad of lunar eclipses is a sign of the end times. "The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood before the great and dreadful day of the LORD comes."
The next total lunar eclipse also visible from nearly all of North America happens in October. The next are on April 4, 2015, and Sept. 28, 2015.
NASA said there will be nine tetrads of eclipses during this century.