Astronomy fans in the U.S. won't be able to catch a glimpse of Wednesday's total lunar eclipse, but Google just put up a homepage doodle that will allow people to follow along.
"Starting now, see the latest state of the lunar eclipse on our homepage - thanks @slooh for the imagery," Google tweeted.
Slooh.com provides crowdsourced access to live telescopes from around the world. Since its December 2003 launch, members have taken 1.3 million photos of 35,000 unique objects and events in the night sky. The Google doodle will include a live feed of the lunar eclipse from Slooh's Space Camera, which will update every two minutes throughout theevent.
When you land on the doodle, a dial at the bottom of the image will move from left to right, going through the various stages of the eclipse, before settling on its current state. For a slower view, however, you can move the dial back and forth yourself.
During a lunar eclipse, Earth comes between the sun and the moon so that all or part of the sun's light is blocked from the moon, according to NASA.
Wednesday's eclipse is also notable for how long it will last. "The total phase itself lasts 100 minutes. The last eclipse to exceed this duration was in July 2000," astrophysicist Fred Espenak wrote in NASA'seclipse guide for 2011.
The entire event will be visible from the eastern half of Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, and western Australia, Espenak said. Europe will miss the first part of the eclipse because it happens before moonrise, but—with the exception of northern Scotland and northern Scandinavia—Europeans will be able to see totality. Eastern Asia, eastern Australia, and New Zealand, meanwhile, will miss the last stages of eclipse because they occur after moonset.
In South America, observers in eastern Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina will witness totality, but nothing will be viewable from North America. Those in the U.S. should be able to see the December eclipse, however.