\"Blood Moon\" will illuminate sky Wednesday morning

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COLUMBIA-- A "blood moon" will light up the sky in the early hours of Wednesday morning. According to NASA it is the second and last eclipse this calendar year.

Melanie Knocke teaches students about astronomy at the Rock Bridge High School planetarium.

"The moon is going to pass through the Earth's shadow," Knocke said. "It'll happen really early in the morning. About 4:14 in the morning is when you're going to be able to easily see that something is going on. That's when the moon will actually start to move into the deepest part of the Earth's shadow. It'll look like there's a bite being taken out of the moon."

The phenomenon will be visible in the United States and Canada. A full lunar eclipse often produces a "blood moon" because of the red tint it gives off. It is often referred to as the "Hunter's Moon" because of the season in which this eclipse takes place.

An eclipse happens when the Earth, Sun and Moon line up so the shadow of the Earth passes over the Moon. When the Sun shines through the Earth's atmosphere it bends and appears to give a red glow.

"The red color is not necessarily unusual when it comes to a lunar eclipse," Knocke said. "It has to do with if there's a lot of debris in the air like a volcanic eruption which we've had in Japan so that threw up some debris so that might cause the Sun's light which is being bent around the Earth to appear more reddish in color when it gets to the moon."

The total eclipse will officially begin at 5:25 AM central standard time. The event will last a little over an hour. You can share your pictures of the "blood moon" with us by tagging KOMU 8 News in your pictures on Facebook.