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Is there any good tricks to observing a total lunar eclipse that I should be aware of? Just wanting to know what to do to be prepared for the upcoming one, but please post in general for future viewers of this question.

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The first step to observing a lunar eclipse is to make sure that it's visible from your location. This is most easily done with NASA's lunar eclipse page. Look for the calendar date that you're interested in for the eclipse, and then you can get a broad idea of what regions of the world it will be visible in. You can click the link of the calendar date to get a more detailed map.

What you want to look for on these maps is where U1, U2, U3, and U4 are visible (this is assuming that these stages will happen for the eclipse in question). The U# contact points are when parts of the moon's limb enter or exit parts of the full Earth's shadow (where you would see a total solar eclipse if you were on the moon). It's during these stages that the moon really starts to visibly darken and turn red. The stage between P1 and U1, and the stage U4-P4 will usually just show a bit of darkening.

Assuming the eclipse is visible from your location, and assuming you have clear skies, really the only thing to keep in mind is that this event takes a long time. Lunar eclipses can last over 6 hours with over an hour in totality (where it's fully within Earth's umbral shadow).

You'll want to know when the U# contact stages are for your location. In my opinion, the best times to view are between U1 and U2 (when the moon is about half-way in Earth's umbra), and between U2 and U3 (when it's fully in, or totality). Coming out of totality is basically the same as going in, just different basins will be red vs. white.

A potentially other interesting thing about lunar eclipses is that it's the only time during a full moon when lots of stars are visible. This makes for a very pretty sight if you are in a dark-sky location, away from city lights.

So in the end, I really only have three bits of advice after you've checked that it's visible and checked the weather: (1) Remember this takes a long time, so don't worry if you're 5 minutes late. (2) I like totality and the high contrast between U1-U2 or U3-U4 stages. (3) If you want to take advantage of having a full moon out and seeing stars, go to a dark sky site.

Finally, if you want to photograph this, I have written an extensive lunar astrophotography guide that tries to explain in basic terms and for basic cameras how to photograph lunar eclipses.

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