At midnight, the moon will begin entering the earth's shadow to create a total lunar eclipse. Eclipses happen in cycles of four, or tetrads.
The first eclipse of the lunar tetrad -- which concludes next September -- is the start of an unusual event: four concurrent total lunar eclipses.
"It's sometimes called the Blood Moon," said Cory Stone, the head of the Gene Roddenberry Planetarium in Central El Paso. Stone said he was planning on watching the eclipse into the early-morning hours Tuesday, describing the alignment of the earth, sun and moon as "a lucky occurrence."
"I think we'll see something significant," said Bishop Tom Brown of Word of Life Church. The church held a Passover feast. Brown pointed out that the next four total lunar eclipses all fall on Jewish holy days and that significant events shaping Israel's future -- the fight for independence and the Six Day War -- all happened during a tetrad of total lunar eclipses.
"I think the sun, the moon, the stars are all God's billboards," said Brown. "It's his way of giving us a heads up about something coming."
"We often try to tie human issues to what's happening with the stars," said Stone. The scientist is doubtful anything will come to pass, adding, "Nothing will happen except a cool show in the sky."
El Paso Community College is holding a viewing party at the Valle Verde campus. NMSU is organizing its own at the Tombaugh Observatory in Las Cruces.
Both events are free and open to the public.