Election Day might be on the horizon across New Jersey, but it's not the only thing. This year, we have a welcomed bonus added to the checklist before we head out to the polls and cast our votes.

A total lunar eclipse is happening on Nov. 8. But what makes this eclipse so rare is the fact that it coincides with election day, something that hasn't happened before in the Garden State.

What's more, this particular lunar eclipse isn't occurring in the middle of the night. Instead, New Jersey gets to experience the peak of the eclipse just before sunrise. So for all you early risers, you're in luck.

However, if you want to experience the full eclipse from the beginning, you'll still have to get up pretty early in the morning on November 8. Here's the timeline of our election day lunar eclipse.

Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse where how to view from NJ
Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse (NASA.gov/Rami Daud)

Kicks off very early on Election Day

The eclipse will begin just after 3 a.m. on Nov. 8. Starting around 3:02 a.m, the penumbral eclipse will begin. This is the very beginning stages of the Earth's shadow starting to affect the light reflected back by the moon. It's not a blackout at this stage, but rather more of a gradual dimming.

Then, just after 4 a.m, the eclipse will enter its next phase. Around 4:09 a.m, we will enter the partial eclipse phase. That's when the Earth's shadow really starts to block out the moonlight.

This blocking out of the moon will continue throughout the early morning hours as we get closer to sunrise.

(Sean Walker / Sky & Telescope)
(Sean Walker / Sky & Telescope)

Blood moon becomes visible

Around 4:45 a.m is when we start to see the blood moon appear. That's the stage when just enough light makes its way to the moon to make it appear blood red.

Then, just after 5:15 a.m, the full eclipse will be on full display. That's when the entire moon is obstructed by the Earth's shadow making it appear blood red all the way around.

The eclipse will max out at 5:59 a.m. in New Jersey, giving us a spectacular view for those of us who have a prime view of the horizon.

Massive "Super Moon" Rises Over U.S.
Getty Images

Eclipse at moonset

Unfortunately, we won't be able to experience the ending of the eclipse due to the arrival of daylight. However, we will get to experience a spectacular blood moonset, which happens at 6:41 a.m. in Jersey City.

A fully-eclipsed moonset is pretty rare in the Great Garden State, and so is an eclipse landing on Election Day. So if you can get somewhere with a clear view of the horizon, you'll no doubt have an incredible experience before heading out to the polls (Click here to check out Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow's latest forecast).

Much like the partial solar eclipse that occurred back in 2021 during sunrise, this eclipse also promises to deliver thanks to the timing of this astronomical event. And if you're unable to view the eclipse from where you are, then no worries. Just click here to view the live stream.

Sun eclipse

A look back at that rare partial solar eclipse sunrise

It wasn't that long ago New Jersey got to experience an eclipse during the early morning hours. As mentioned above, The Garden State was treated to a very rare partial solar eclipse sunrise back on June 10, 2021.

To get us ready for the upcoming lunar eclipse moonset, here's a look back at that partial solar eclipse as it unfolded in our region, as well as around the world.

Wow! Views of the sunrise solar eclipse in U.S. and world

A partial solar eclipse was visible June 10, 2021 as the sun rose over the East Coast.

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