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Total lunar eclipse set for early Saturday morning

Total lunar eclipse set for early Saturday morning
The moon turns red during total Lunar Eclipse of the moon seen in Valencia, Spain, on Wednesday June 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

Update: Thanks to all sending in photos of the eclipse! Here is a link to a photo gallery.

Usually trying to see any celestial event between October and the first of March is a lost cause in the Northwest, but if we can keep the fog away, we might just sneak a peek at a total lunar eclipse early Saturday morning.

The show begins at 3:33 a.m. with the moon starting its total eclipse at 6:06 a.m. The peak of the eclipse will be at 6:31 a.m. and then the moon slowly lights up again starting at 6:57 a.m.

The moon will technically remain in partial eclipse until 8:17 a.m., but we won't see the whole show because the moon will set at 7:52 (we'll get the best part, though). But that could make for a dramatic scene since the moon tends to look larger than life when it's near the horizon.

But unlike a total solar eclipse where the sun goes pitch black, the moon gets a smoky reddish color to it. That's due to the Earth's atmosphere and the sunlight reflecting off the edges of the Earth and faintly illuminating the moon. In fact, Astronomy Magazine says it's the glow of all the sunrises and sunsets on Earth going on at that moment.

As for weather, it'll be hit-and-miss as to whether you'll see it in Seattle. Morning fog will be scattered around again Saturday morning so if you were in a place that had stubborn fog Friday morning, you're likely to get it again Saturday.

Best place to avoid the fog are hilltops, the mountains, and, believe it or not, the coast. However the coast will be the first to get increasing clouds from an approaching weather system due in Saturday night, so it might not be the best place either. Bottom line: it's not perfect viewing conditions, but you'll just have to get lucky. If you're dying to get a photo of it, perhaps head into the Cascade foothills.

And if you do get a good photo, we'd love to see it! E-mail it to us at weather@komo4news.com or submit it through our YouNews site