A total lunar eclipse will be happening Wednesday morning and we should be able to see it in the Bitterroot Valley.

A lunar eclipse is when the Earth passes in front of a full moon, blocking the sun. (A solar eclipse happens during the day, when the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun)

Astronomers are expecting the West Coast folks to have the best views, but Montana is not bad, either. The Earth will pass in front of the Moon while it's full, starting about 3:15 a.m. Mountain Time Wednesday, October 8.

As the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon, the sunlight will be restricted to passing through the atmosphere on the edge of the planet, causing the reddish color. The moon's light will fade but some sunlight will still reach the moon throughout the eclipse, turning it orange-red. The period of totality is significant, too. The "totality" time period is from 4:25 a.m. to 5:24 a.m.

So, even if we have some clouds, the possibility of seeing at least some of the lunar eclipse is good.

By the way, the photo I included is not a lunar eclipse, but a reddish moonrise during a recent smoky forest fire season.