With a once-in-a-few-centuries partial lunar eclipse in the sky, stargazers in North America and northeast Russia are in for a historic treat this week. November’s full beaver moon will see the longest partial lunar eclipse in over 500 years, lasting over six hours from Thursday night into Friday morning, according to NASA. Parts of South America can catch a glimpse at moonset, and parts of East Asia and Australia might see the eclipse at moonrise.
The last lunar eclipse in May was a rare “super blood moon,” appearing brighter and larger than a normal full moon in a reddish hue. A partial lunar eclipse occurs when part of the full moon falls under Earth’s shadow (unlike May’s total lunar eclipse) — more than 97% of the moon will be covered at the peak of the eclipse, according to NASA.
You won’t have to stay outside the whole time for the experience, but you might have to choose between going to bed late and waking up early, depending on where you live. NASA forecasts the eclipse to peak at 4:03 a.m. ET on Friday. The eclipse will begin at 1:03 a.m. ET, but the dimming of the moon won’t be noticeable until 2:19 a.m. ET, when the moon falls under the Earth’s umbra. The website timeanddate.com can tell you when you’ll be able to see the eclipse based on where you are.
We can expect clear skies across the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, and from Michigan and Ohio to Texas in the United States, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. Most of western Mexico and Southern Baja to Mazatlán will also have a clear view. The eclipse in other regions of North America — most of the Southeast, from the High Plains to the West Coast and in most of New England and Canada — could be obscured by clouds. But don’t be entirely discouraged.”It is a very long eclipse so be a little patient and try to stay warm,” Myers said. In full autumnal spirit, the moon will appear a reddish-brown color during the eclipse. The Earth’s atmosphere, which scatters sunlight, will create the effect of a sunset projected onto the moon.