CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – For the first time ever, this year’s election coincides with a total lunar eclipse!

Lunar eclipses occur when the sun, the Earth and the moon are in a straight line with the Earth positioned in the middle, casting its shadow on the moon. It began at 5 a.m. and ended around 6:42 a.m. Tuesday. The next total lunar eclipse isn’t until March 14, 2025, and the next Election Day total lunar eclipse won’t happen again for another 372 years!

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These lunar eclipses are sometimes referred to as “blood moons” due to the reddish hue that is cast onto the moon by refracted sunlight passing through Earth’s atmosphere. This phenomenon, known as Rayleigh scattering, also gives the Earth its blue skies and rose-colored sunsets.

Ironically, the Election Day eclipse is also a “Beaver Moon” — the second full moon of autumn. This term, NASA says, was popularized by the Maine Farmer’s Almanac, which published the Native American names for full moons in the 1930s.