Get a glimpse of the longest partial lunar eclipse of the century Friday morning

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16 July 2019, Brescia, Italy, the partial eclipse of the moon, Italy

(WJW) — Weather permitting, you’ll soon be able to see a partial lunar eclipse – the longest lasting one of the century.

NASA says it’ll happen overnight between Thursday into Friday when the moon slips into Earth’s shadow for about six hours.

They typically last just under an hour.

Cleveland State University research astronomer Jay Reynolds offers an overnight timetable of the event:

  • 1:03    Moon enters Penumbra  (not really noticeable)
  • 2:12    Moon is in center of Penumbra  (not really noticeable)
  • 2:20    Moon makes first contact with Umbra shadow (have your cameras ready)
  • 4:01    Maximum eclipse 97%
  • 5:46    Moon exits the Umbra shadow
  • 7:01    Moon exits penumbra shadow – Eclipse is complete.
  • 7:21    Sunrise

At the maximum point of the eclipse, 99 percent of the moon’s face will be covered by the dark inner part of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra. The remaining sliver of the lunar disk will be deep within the lighter, outer part of Earth’s shadow, known as the penumbra, according to EarthSky.org.

Why is the November 2021 eclipse so long?

“The maximum point of the eclipse comes about 41 hours before the moon reaches apogee, its farthest point from Earth for this month,” EarthSky says on its website. “The farther away the moon is, the slower it travels along its orbit. A moon at apogee simply takes longer to pass through Earth’s shadow.”

For those of us closer to the East Coast, the partial eclipse begins a little after 2 a.m., reaching its maximum at 4 in the morning. West Coast observers can catch it just after 11 p.m., with a maximum at 1 a.m.

The next time Earth will see a partial lunar eclipse this long will be on February 8, 2669.

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