Blood Moon Rising: Shortest Lunar Eclipse of 21st Century Coming on April 4

© Flickr / becksteiFull moon
Full moon - Sputnik International
A lunar eclipse set to occur on April 4 will last a mere 4 minutes and 43 seconds, making it the shortest in the 21st century.

But this is not the only reason that makes the upcoming celestial show unique.

The Saturday event will be a total lunar eclipse, also known as a blood moon, meaning the Earth's satellite will turn a lovely shade of red or orange when the eclipse reaches its peak at approximately 12:00 GMT.  On average, blood moons occur twice a year.

The upcoming lunar eclipse is not a standalone event but part of a series of four total lunar eclipses, occurring in a row. This rare phenomenon, known as tetrad, is not expected to happen again until the early 2030s. The final eclipse of the tetrad, spanning almost two years, will take place on September 28, 2015.

The April 4 eclipse will be partially visible across the United States, South America, Russia, Asia and Australia. Stargazers in Greenland, Iceland, Europe, Africa and the Middle East will unfortunately miss the event.

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