On a more modern note, National Geographic explains that this lunar eclipse corresponds with the wolf moon which is the traditional name for January's full moon. Essentially, when the light from the Sun hits the Earth, the light splits into a rainbow similar to how light comes through a prism. The outer part of the cone-shaped shadow is called the penumbra.
The actual color of the "blood moon" will differ depending on atmospheric conditions.
During totality, the moon will look red because of sunlight scattering off Earth's atmosphere. Each month has a different name.
The Old Farmer's Almanac says Native Americans and early colonists called January's full moon the "wolf moon" because it came at a time when wolves were active and hunting outside villages. The total eclipse will begin about 9:30 p.m., but the moon will appear darkest about an hour later, she said.
This will be the first of three supermoons this year. "Eastern time", said Walter Freeman, assistant teaching professor at Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences" physics department. At 10.33 p.m. EST, the edge of the Moon will begin entering the umbra.
The full moon is seen as it rises near the Lincoln Memorial, Saturday, 19 March 2011, in Washington.
The blood moon will only emerge for an hour, at the eclipse's totality. It is particularly important because it is going to be the last total lunar eclipse until May 2021. No two lunar eclipses are exactly alike, as atmospheric dust differs from eclipse to eclipse.
The event is the last chance for skywatchers in the United Kingdom to see a total lunar eclipse in its entirety until 2029 - weather permitting.
Partial or total lunar eclipses happen up to three times per year and are often visible from a large swath of the planet at a time.
"Most of the time, the moon's slightly tilted orbit brings it above or below Earth's shadow", according to NASA.
Why is this total lunar eclipse special? A live video stream will show the eclipse from other locations around the world.
While solar eclipses are risky to view directly, the light from lunar eclipses is much fainter and so is completely safe to view without special equipment.