Hundreds Gather at Chabot Space and Science Center to Watch "Blood Moon" Eclipse

By NBC Bay Area staff
|  Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014  |  Updated 3:55 AM PDT
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Hundreds of people gathered at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland late Monday to get a glimpse of the moon change color. Jean Elle reports.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland late Monday to get a glimpse of the moon change color. Jean Elle reports.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland late Monday to get a glimpse of the moon change color.

The first of four lunar eclipses known as the "blood moons" were scheduled to take place on Tuesday. A rare full eclipse of the moon is expected to turn it red.

"The most unique thing about the 2014-2015 tetrad is that all of them are visible for all or parts of the USA," said NASA expert Fred Espenak on Nasa.gov. A tetrad is a series of four consecutive total eclipses that take place at six-month intervals.

Ken Swagerty used the rare event to spend time with his family at the Chabot Space and Science Center. He brought his home-made telescope and his granddaughter, Lacy.

Tuesday's eclipse started at 2 a.m. EST, according to NASA, when the edge of the moon entered the core of the earth's shadow. The total eclipse occurred at around 3 a.m. for those on the East Coast and at around midnight for those in the west. The event was expected to last about 78 minutes, according to NASA.

A total eclipse takes place when the earth casts a shadow on a full moon. The sunlight on the earth's surface shows up on its shadow and gives the moon a red, coppery glow.

Three more total eclipses are expected on Oct. 8, 2014, April 4, 2015 and Sept. 28, 2015.

NBC Bay Area's Jean Elle contributed to this report.

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