MONTECITO, Calif. -

The first total lunar eclipse in more than two years is happening Monday night through early Tuesday morning.

NASA says the partial eclipse will begin at 10:58 p.m. with totality beginning at 12:07 a.m. and ending at 1:25 a.m. The partial eclipse will end at 2:33 a.m.

When the moon is totally eclipsed, it will turn a burnt reddish orange color.  It's called a blood moon, and this one is just the first in a series of four consecutive total eclipses that are set to happen over the next two years.

The red color essentially comes from all the sunrises and sunsets at the moment - splashing on the lunar surface and faintly lighting up the moon.   The color though could range from a light coppery-red to nearly black depending on atmospheric conditions on Earth at the time.

Westmont is hosting a free public viewing party for the rare event.  It is happening at the Westmont Observatory from t 10:30 p.m. Monday to 2 a.m. Tuesday.