Tonight’s partial lunar eclipse is a special event. Also known as the November beaver moon, this is an unusually long partial lunar eclipse. This will be visible to many parts of the United States, so you’ll want to go outside late tonight or early in the morning before the sun rises to check it out.
The Peak of the Lunar Eclipse Will Take Place Very Early Friday Morning or Very Late Thursday Night
According to NASA, the peak of the eclipse — which will be the best viewing time — will take place around 4:03 a.m. Eastern/3:03 a.m. Central/2:03 a.m. Mountain/1:03 a.m. Pacific on Friday, November 19. If you’re interested in seeing the moon when it has a reddish hue, this will last from about 3:45 a.m. Eastern to 4:20 a.m. Eastern. This is also when the eclipse peak is over.
The peak is when the moon is eclipsed the most. For tonight’s event, it’s expected that up to 99.1% of the moon is going to be hidden by the Earth’s shadow. So it will be almost a full eclipse, but not quite.
All of North America will be able to see the lunar eclipse at its peak, along with parts of South America, eastern Australia, northeastern Asia, and Polynesia, NASA reported.
When Does the Eclipse Start & End?
Here’s a timeline for the various phases of the lunar eclipse tonight, according to NASA. The entire process lasts for about six hours, starting at 1:02 a.m. Eastern and ending at 7:04 a.m. Eastern.
- At 1:02 a.m. Eastern, the penumbral eclipse begins. (This is when the moon enters the outer part of the Earth’s shadow or penumbra. The moon will begin to dim, but the effect will be very subtle at this time.)
- At 2:19 a.m. Eastern, the partial eclipse begins. This is when the moon starts to enter the Earth’s umbra or shadow. The part of the moon that’s eclipsed will look dark, so this is when it looks like a bite is being taken out of the moon. (And that bite slowly grows larger.)
- At 3:45 a.m. Eastern, about 95% or more of the moon will be in the Earth’s shadow, and the moon will take on a reddish hue. The color might be faint in some regions and easier to see with binoculars or a telescope, NASA noted. Exposures that last several seconds may show the color more, but may also overexpose other parts of the moon, NASA shared.
- At 4:03 a.m. Eastern, this is the eclipse peak. It’s when the biggest part of the moon is in the Earth’s shadow, which is estimated to be up to 99.1% of the moon.
- At 4:20 a.m. Eastern, the red color will no longer be visible once less than 95% of the moon is in the Earth’s shadow. That “bite” out of the moon will now appear on the opposite side and will slowly get smaller as time progresses.
- At 5:47 a.m. Eastern, the partial eclipse begins again. At this point, the moon is still in the Earth’s penumbra, but the dimming of the moon is very subtle, just like it was earlier in the evening.
- At 7:04 a.m. Eastern, the eclipse will be completely over.
According to NASA, this is the longest partial lunar eclipse in about 500 years. Although the entire process from beginning to end lasts for six hours, NASA noted that the partial eclipse itself will last three hours, 28 minutes, and 23 seconds.
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