Look up this week! The longest partial lunar eclipse of the CENTURY will take place on Friday morning, making the moon appear red for around 3.5 hours, NASA says
- This will be the longest partial lunar eclipse of the century, lasting 3.5 hours
- It will barely be visible from the UK as the moon is setting before peak eclipse
- North America will see 97 per cent of the moon turn reddish during the eclipse
- The point of maximum eclipse is at 09:02 GMT, after moonset in the UK
The longest partial lunar eclipse of the century will take place on Friday morning, making the moon appear red for up to 3.5 hours.
It will darken the moon for most of the planet on November 19, with up to 97 per cent of the moon slipping into Earth’s shadow.
The best place to view the eclipse will be North America, where almost all of the 3.5 hours will be visible, as it will be nighttime when the eclipse begins.
‘This is an exceptionally deep partial eclipse,’ EarthSky explained, leaving just a thin sliver of the moon exposed to direct sun light at the point of maximum eclipse.
The rest of the moon will take on a reddish, rust colour, typical of a total lunar eclipse and caused by light waves from the sun being filtered by Earth’s atmosphere.
According to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, the partial eclipse will be ‘barely visible in the UK’ as it occurs when the moon is close to or below the horizon.
The longest partial lunar eclipse of the century will take place on Friday morning, according to NASA, making the moon appear red for up to 3.5 hours. This is a lunar eclipse seen in China in May 2021
According to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, the partial eclipse will be ‘barely visible in the UK’ as it occurs when the moon is close to or below the horizon
What is a lunar eclipse?
An eclipse occurs any time a planet or moon passes between another planet, moon or the sun.
Depending on their orbits, they can be total or partial.
A lunar eclipse is a specific event which happens when Earth lines up directly between the sun and the moon.
When this happens, Earth blocks the light from the sun to the moon. Earth’s shadow then falls on the moon.
During a lunar eclipse, we can see Earth’s shadow on the moon.
They can last for several hours, but it is rare for a period of total eclipse to last longer than 100 minutes.
At least two lunar eclipses happen every year.
People living in North America will see the partial eclipse in its entirety, with those in western Asia, Australia and New Zealand missing the early stages.
Moonset happens in South America and Western Europe before the eclipse ends, so will miss the later stages, and it won’t be visible at all in Africa or the Middle East.
It will be at the point of greatest eclipse, with 97 per cent of the moon covered by Earth’s shadow, at 09:02 GMT when the moon is best viewed from Hawaii.
The earliest stages of the eclipse will begin at 06:02 GMT on November 19, with the moon gradually becoming more obscured from 07:18 GMT, ending at 10:47 GMT.
The time of moonrise and moonset will determine how much is visible from any given location, and in the UK the moon sets at 07:24 GMT on Friday, well before the point of maximum eclipse.
Those in the south of England will begin to see the moon turn reddish at 07:18, but it will be just above the horizon and barely visible.
For the best view of the eclipse find a place with low light pollution, an unobstructed horizon and in a flat area facing west to north-westerly.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth comes between the moon and the sun, causing the Earth’s shadow to eclipse the moon.
It will darken the moon for most of the planet on November 19, with up to 97 per cent of the moon slipping into Earth’s shadow. This is a full moon visible from New Jersey in 2020
When it is a partial eclipse, most of the light from the sun is covered by the Earth, leading to the moon appearing reddish.
Despite the sunlight being blocked by the Earth’s shadow, it bends around the Earth and travels through our atmosphere, which filters out bluer wavelengths of light.
When this filtered starlight reaches the moon, it comes through as red and orange, causing the moon to appear redder than usual during the eclipse.
There is a total lunar eclipse in May 2022, that should be visible from most of the UK.
In May 2022, ‘people in the UK will not be able to see every part of the eclipse but will still be able to see the lunar eclipse at totality when the entire Moon turns red,’ according to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich astronomers.