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A total lunar eclipse looms for Monday night. See when the best viewing time is.

Blood moon: Watch Earth's satellite turn red during the next lunar eclipse

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Digital writers

Saturday, April 12, 2014, 1:45 PM -

If you have the time - and, of course, weather permitting - cast your eyes to the heavens on the night of April 14/15.

The first lunar eclipse in more than two years will grace the skies Monday night, and the reddish tinge it assumes will be an optical illusion caused by the way Earth's dust-filled atmosphere bends incoming light.

It will be visible throughout the entire Western Hemisphere, beginning at 1:58 a.m. Eastern on April 15, lasting for three and a half hours. 

Totality, the darkest part of the eclipse, will start at 3:07 a.m. Eastern April 15, and last around 80 minutes, according to Andrew Fazekas, writing for National Geographic, and unlike solar eclipses, there is no risk of ocular damage when viewed with the naked eye.

And even if you can't see it, due to weather or an unfavourable time zone, there's good news: The folks at the SLOOH Observatory will be livestreaming it on their website.

And if you really, really can't watch it at all, Monday night's eclipse is actually the first of four lunar eclipses, one occurring every six months, with the next one due for October 8.

RELATED: Read about seven fantastic alien worlds we found outside our solar system. 

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