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Images: Be prepared for total lunar eclipse

On Wednesday evening the United States will be treated to a total lunar eclipse--the last one for almost three years.
By Andy Smith, Contributor on
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1 of 3 Andy Smith/ZDNET

Total lunar eclipse

On Wednesday February 20, 2008, beginning at 7:01 p.m. PST the moon will move completely under the shadow of the Earth in a total lunar eclipse. The eclipse can be seen in the Americas, Europe, and Africa. Hope for good weather because the next total lunar eclipse won't happen until December 2010.

The moon will be completely under Earth's shadow for about 50 minutes. During this time the moon won't be completely obscured because of indirect light coming from the Earth's atmosphere. But the moon will appear to change colors from light gray to orange or deep red. The shade depend son the amount of dust and clouds in the Earth's atmosphere.

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2 of 3 Andy Smith/ZDNET

Viewing times

West Coast residents may miss out on the early stages of the eclipse as it will occur before moon rise but the rest of the country should be able to see the entire even--weather permitting, of course.

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Partial eclipse

Here is the eclipse in its early stages before it begins to turn colors.

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