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Early Wednesday morning, the moon, Earth and the Sun will all line up perfectly, with the Earth in between the sun and the moon.

When this happens, there's an opportunity for the moon, as it orbits the Earth to pass through Earth's shadow.

  • The stream above is from the Armstrong Flight Research Center and the Griffith Observatory (NASA).
  • The eclipse will begin at 6:48 a.m. in Metro Detroit.

When this happens, a dark smudge starts creeping across the moon's surface as it passes through the outer part of the shadow, which is called the penumbra. When the moon's surface passes into the heart of the Earth's shadow, which is called the umbra, it turns a reddish color due to the sun's rays being refracted, or bent -- just like by a prism -- when they pass through Earth's atmosphere.

The reddish color is why an eclipsed moon is frequently called a blood moon.

Here's more on the occurrence here from Paul Gross.

When, how to see in Metro Detroit

So what will we see here in Metro Detroit? Not as much as we'd like. The eclipse will begin at 6:48 a.m. Wednesday, but the moon here will be setting at 7:48 a.m., so it's going to be low in the western sky.

Trees and buildings are going to block the view for many. If you are in an area with a clear view of the western sky, you'll see a smudge moving across the moon between 6:48 a.m. and 7:48 a.m.