By TIME Photo
October 7, 2014

Ever wondered why the full moon sometimes appears a dull red?

The “blood moon” lunar eclipse happens about twice a year—including early Wednesday morning—when the Sun, Earth and moon line up so that the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, NASA explains in the video above. This causes moon to appear a dull red color due to sunlight scattered through the Earth’s atmosphere.

In other words, if you were to watch the eclipse from the moon, you’d see the Earth blocking the Sun, whose rays creep over the curves of the Earth, basking the moon in a red glow.

For an up-close, clear shot of Wednesday’s blood moon, tune in to the SLOOH Community Observatory‘s live stream here, starting at 5 a.m. ET and likely peaking at around 6:55 a.m. ET.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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