Perfect weather shaping up for Tuesday’s total lunar eclipse

Do you need another reason to wake up early and head to the polls on Tuesday or just another boost to get out of bed early for work or school? How about an early morning lunar eclipse to begin your day?

Each year the moon, sun and Earth line up nicely so that the Earth passes between the sun and the moon to cast a shadow we see (and call an eclipse) for a few hours. Depending on if the moon is above the horizon at the time of the eclipse, you should be able to see it from the Earth below.

A map showing where Tuesday morning’s lunar eclipse will be visible. Courtesy NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Just in time for Election Day on Tuesday morning, the full moon will be just above the western horizon, the part of the sky where sunset occurs, during the middle of a lunar eclipse in the D.C. region. If you are outside beginning around 5:45 a.m., the sky will be crystal clear thanks to a cold front that moved through the night before.

Here’s the timeline of Tuesday’s total lunar eclipse in the D.C. area:

The moon will look like a bite is being taken out of it once the partial eclipse begins at 4:09 a.m. EST. The moon will turn a copper, red-ish color when totality begins at 5:17 a.m. The red color will fade, and it’ll look like a bite is being taken out of the opposite side of the moon when totality ends and the sunrise begins at 6:42 a.m.

The moon will then set below the western horizon for the day. Mars will be the other bright object in the western sky, a bit above the moon.

The moon will appear full in the sky again Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning, so it will provide plenty of light, especially under Canadian high pressure and clear skies across the DMV.

The eclipse is just a Tuesday morning event.

A cell phone will capture the moment, but a camera with exposures of at least a few seconds will be needed to capture the moon’s reddish color during the eclipse! Feel free to send us your photos of the lunar eclipse!

Curious when the next one will be visible in the Washington area?

March 14, 2025, at 3 a.m. will be the next total lunar eclipse during the darkness in the D.C. area.

On the contrary, the next solar eclipse (the sun being blocked by the moon) will be visible in the D.C. area on Oct. 14, 2023. This will be the last annual solar eclipse visible from the U.S. until June 21, 2039!

Chad Merrill

Chad Merrill is a meteorologist and digital weather content producer for WTOP. Prior to joining WTOP, Chad was a meteorologist in the private industry and television. He loves to share his passion with listeners and readers and is eager to hear from anyone who has any weather questions!

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