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How to Watch the Longest Lunar Eclipse In Nearly Six Centuries

Bonus points: the eclipse will also occur during a full moon.

november 2021 partial lunar eclipse, lunar eclipse
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  • A historical lunar eclipse will occur on Friday, November 19 between 2:18 a.m. and 5:47 a.m.
  • The eclipse will be the longest in 580 years, and will last three hours, 28 minutes, and 23 seconds.
  • Bonus: the eclipse will also occur during a full moon.

    Turn skyward in the early morning on Friday, November 19 to see the longest partial lunar eclipse in nearly six centuries.

    Make sure to set your alarm: the eclipse will last from 2:18 a.m. E.T. until 5:47 a.m. E.T. The event will reach its peak around 4 a.m. E.T. and will show Earth’s natural satellite more than 97 percent covered, making this an almost total lunar eclipse. It will be visible—pending clear skies in your area—throughout parts of North and South America, Australia, Europe, and Asia.

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    Clocking in at nearly three-and-a-half hours, this will be the longest partial lunar eclipse of the century per NASA. It’s also the longest lunar eclipse in 580 years, according to Holcomb Observatory, home of the largest telescope in the state of Indiana. We haven’t seen a lunar eclipse this long since February 18, 1440, and we won’t see another long one until February 8, 2669, according to Time and Date, a Stavanger, Norway-based source for time-related news.

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    This eclipse will also coincide with a full moon—dubbed the full Beaver Moon for peak beaver-hunting season, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac (but it’s also called both the Frost Moon or the Snow Moon).

    The upcoming eclipse will make the moon appear especially full, now through Saturday morning. NASA reports that Earth will begin eclipsing the upper left part of the moon at 1:02 a.m. E.T. “but the slight dimming of the moon will not be noticeable until the full shadow of the Earth begins falling on the upper part of the moon at 2:18 a.m.”

    If cold weather keeps you indoors, or cloudy skies make it difficult to see the moon, you can watch a live broadcast from the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California, or a livestream from Time and Date.

    If you’d rather check out the lunar eclipse on your own, no problem—lunar eclipses are safe to watch with the naked eye, unlike solar eclipses. Look low in the western sky, and set up your telescope in advance if you have one.

    The next full moon will occur on December 18, 2021, and the first lunar eclipse of 2022 will occur on May 15.

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