Lunar lovers will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the longest lunar eclipse in nearly 600 years on Nov.19 at 4:02 a.m. EST.
This exceptional natural phenomenon, known as a partial lunar eclipse, would appear as the last one of 2021, as People reported.
When the Sun, Moon, and Earth queue up in-line, then a full lunar eclipse comes, while a partial lunar eclipse appears with the Moon covering the southern-most part of the Earth’s shadow. “Anything less than perfection creates a partial lunar eclipse or no eclipse at all,” wrote Space.com.
The eclipse’s length
The partial eclipse is expected to last 3 hours, 28 minutes, and 24 seconds while the full eclipse will take 6 hours and one minute.
According to Nasa, partial lunar eclipses might not appear as breathtaking as full lunar eclipses, where the Earth’s shadow completely covers the Moon.
Still, they come more often, which means viewers have more chances to catch little-by-little changes in our solar system, happening right before our eyes.
Places to observe the eclipse
The Earth’s shadow’s deepest part will take up around 97% of the Moon’s face in North America, making it an ideal place to observe the entire eclipse process, according to EarthSky.org. This happens at the peak of the eclipse.
According to Indiana’s Holcomb Observatory, viewers in all 50 states have the same chance of witnessing the marvelous event, known as the longest eclipse in 580 years.
Although the best scenes are only available in North America, lunar lovers from Eastern Australia, New Zealand, and Japan can still enjoy the beauty of a partial lunar eclipse, as People reported.
In Western Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, the early stage of the eclipse takes place before the moonrise, making the sky observer hardly catch these precious moments.
South America and Western Europe are in a similar situation, witnessing moonset before the eclipse finishes.
In the worst case, Africa, the Middle East, and western Asia cannot capture any moment of the eclipse.
How the partial eclipse happens
You can expect to see a slight dimming of the Moon during this out-of-this-world event until the Moon reaches its peak eclipse at 2:18:41 a.m. EST, when the full shadow of the Earth begins falling on the upper part of the Moon, according to Nasa.
Until it reaches its 4:02 a.m EST peak, covering around the Moon is the arc of the shadow. In the partial shadow of the Earth, there is only a sliver of the Moon’s left side shine.
Viewers might expect to observe the turning-wholly-black process of the Moon due to Earth’s shadow, but they can’t imagine an even more splendid spectacle will happen. The Moon will “wear” a reddish-brown “outfit,” followed by a reflection of Earth’s sunrises and sunsets due to Earth’s atmosphere.
The shadow will gradually move towards the lower side of the Moon, following the reaching’s eclipse’s peak. At around 7:03 a.m. EST, when the Moon has fully surfaced from the Earth’s partial shadow, the eclipse will finish its process.
According to Nasa, the Moon’s brightening will hardly be recognized, particularly as morning twilight will appear at 5:54 a.m.
The eclipse’s five main phases
The eclipse process occurs in five main phases; each emerges differently from the others.
The first stage is known as the penumbra, when the leading edge of the Moon comes into the pale outer fringe of Earth’s shadow.
The second stage begins when the Moon enters the umbra, also making the partial eclipse start. In the umbra, no direct sunlight was found.
The eclipse reaches the maximum at phase three with the reddish glow from the Moon’s emission.
The Moon later leaves the umbra, exhibiting stage four.
Phase five is recorded when the Moon leaves the penumbra, and the Moon shines as bright as usual.
November’s Full Moon named Beaver Moon
November’s full Moon is traditionally named the Beaver Moon. Beavers inspired the origin’s moon title. The creature builds lodges and dams, sheltering in the winter; they are usually spotted along the banks of rivers and streams.
The Full Moon in November is also referred to as the Frost Moon when November witnesses bitter hard frosts appear more frequently.
Following the first eclipse in May, named Super Flower Blood Moon, The Beaver Moon’s partial lunar eclipse appears as the second lunar eclipse, ending 2021.