Blood moon: Shortest total lunar eclipse of the century rises Saturday

The moon turns a reddish color in the earth's shadow during a total lunar eclipse, April 15, 2014 as seen from Magdalena, New Mexico. (Photo: ABC News)

Only the speediest of star gazers will catch a glimpse of the total lunar eclipse that will rise Saturday.

NASA predicts that the total phase of the lunar eclipse will only last around 5 minutes. That would make it the shortest lunar eclipse of the century.

Early risers all over the United States should be able to see at least the partial phases of the April 4 lunar eclipse so long as weather permits.  As of now, it looks as if we’ll have clear skies. Stay tuned to the StormTracker forecast for updates in the meantime.

People in the eastern part of the country (that’s us!) will see the beginning stages of the partial umbral eclipse before sunrise at 6:16 ET.

If you don’t feel like stepping outside, Slooh will host a live webcast of the total lunar eclipse on the website on Saturday starting at 6 a.m.

The eclipse is the third in a tetrad, a series of four eclipses.  The first occurred in April 2014, with the second rising in September 2014. The fourth is set for Sept. 28, 2015.

The best part of all for Saturday’s phenomenon: No telescope is needed. If you’re in an area with visibility, all you’ll need to do is step outside to enjoy the view — that is, if you can catch it in time.

If you have any questions about the eclipse, you can ask a NASA astronomer via Twitter on Saturday using the hashtag #eclipse2015 starting at 6 a.m. and lasting through the end of the eclipse at about 8 a.m.

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