Tonight’s “supermoon” total lunar eclipse may be a bit harder to find than you might think.
Stretch out your hand and look at a fingernail; that’s about how small the moon will be. A tree, building, or even a slim telephone pole in the distance could easily block your view of the “very rare” astronomical event.
Luckily, there’s Solar System Scope — a free app for Android and iPhone that uses your phone’s compass to help you quickly find where the first “super blood moon” in 30 years will be in the night sky.
Before following our steps below, glance at this map to see if the event will be visible for you. If so, the total lunar eclipse to start at 10:11 p.m. EDT, peak around 10:47 p.m. EDT, and go until 11:23 p.m. EDT. (Use TimeAndDate.com to find the exact time for your region.)
Don’t fret if you live outside a visible zone, it’s too cloudy, or you’re stuck inside: There are two different live broadcast options at the end of this article, and each begins coverage at 8 p.m. EDT.
Keep scrolling to learn how to find out exactly where in your neighbourhood’s night sky the blood-red total lunar eclipse will hang.
Make sure you accept location services -- this is how the app will know where you are and correctly orient the night sky.
The screen will show you what's visible right now in the night sky. To see a future view, click the time and date box.
Change the date and time to whenever you plan on watching the eclipse. On the US East Coast, totality begins at 10:11 p.m. EDT, peaks around 10:47 p.m. EDT, and goes until 11:23 p.m. EDT.
For New York, we entered 22:11, which is 10:11 p.m. EDT in military time, and the start of totality.
Once you enter the time of the lunar eclipse, move your phone around until the moon appears on the screen.
Collapse the date-and-time menu. Where you're holding up your phone is where you'll see the moon -- and the total lunar eclipse.
Can't see the eclipse in person? The online observatory Slooh will stream a live broadcast starting at 8 p.m. EDT, below.
Should that feed not work for any reason, NASA is also streaming video of the eclipse beginning at 8 p.m. EDT.
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