A deep partial lunar eclipse will darken the moon for much of North America overnight tonight, as most locations will see up to 97 percent of the moon slip into Earth’s shadow. And it will be the longest lasting eclipse since the 15th century.
But you’re going to have to either stay up all night or get up really early to see it.
With just thin sliver of the moon exposed to direct sun at maximum eclipse, the rest of the moon should take on the characteristically deep reddish colors of a total lunar eclipse, EarthSky.org reports.
The moon will first touch the shadow of the Earth (the penumbra) at 12:02 a.m. The partial eclipse will start to become visible at 1:18 a.m. Friday, reach its maximum at 3:02 a.m., and end at 4:47 a.m. The moon then leaves the shadow of the Earth at 6:03 a.m.
Weather will not be a factor, as the National Weather Service says there should only be a few clouds to deal with in the early morning hours Friday.
This is the second lunar eclipse of 2021, and is taking place less than two days before the moon reaches its farthest point from Earth this month, known as apogee. That’s why the eclipse will last so long.
EarthSky.org also notes that the moon’s ascending node in Taurus, and will be placed near the famous Pleiades – aka the Seven Sisters – making for a great photo opportunity.