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Western U.S. Has Best View Of Saturday’s Total Lunar Eclipse

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A full moon lunar eclipse is seen in Tel Aviv on June 15, 2011. (Photo credit: JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

A full moon lunar eclipse is seen in Tel Aviv on June 15, 2011. (Photo credit: JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

BOSTON (CBS/AP) – The last total lunar eclipse of the year is Saturday. And there won’t be another one for three years.

Read: NASA’s Lunar Eclipse Coverage

Viewers in the western half of the United States will have the best views Saturday well before dawn, Pacific and Mountain Standard Time. The farther west the better.

Watch Video:

“It’s pretty spectacular, and if you’re not prepared for it, you might think something crazy is going on,” said Noah Petro, a research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

The scene from the Pacific — Australia and parts of Asia — will be prime. The action will be unfolding there Saturday night, local time.

The moon is actually going to look red during the eclipse, which is fairly rare.

“Essentially, all of the collective sunsets of the earth are projected back out onto the surface of the moon. It’s a fairly unique experience,” said Petro.

This is the second total lunar eclipse this year, when the entire moon is in Earth’s darkest shadow and will appear red. The first was in June. That’s it now until 2014. Until then, stargazers will have to settle for partial eclipses.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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