A Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse Is Coming to North America This Week — Here's When and How to Watch
If you're in North America, you're going to want to rise early on Friday, Nov. 19, to see the peak of the longest partial lunar eclipse of the 21st century.
During the event, November's full Beaver Moon will begin to turn a reddish-copper color as it enters Earth's massive shadow in space. At the peak of the event, it will be 97% colored, with only a silvery slither at the bottom lit up. After that, the eclipse will wane, gradually returning to normal over 104 minutes.
Here's everything you need to know about seeing the Blood Moon partial lunar eclipse.
When is the Blood Moon lunar eclipse?
A global event, this eclipse will be visible to everyone on the night side of Earth. For the Americas, that means early on Friday, Nov. 19, and for Hawaii, Australia, and eastern Asia, it's the day before on Thursday, Nov. 18. Here are some sample times to watch for the peak, when the moon will be 97% a reddish hue, but you can find the exact schedule for your location here.
- 4:02 a.m. EST (Friday, Nov. 19)
- 3:02 a.m. CST (Friday, Nov. 19)
- 2:02 a.m. MST (Friday, Nov. 19)
- 1:02 a.m. PST (Friday, Nov. 19)
- 12:02 a.m. AKST (Friday, Nov. 19)
- 11:02 p.m. HST (Thursday, Nov. 18)
How can I watch the Blood Moon lunar eclipse?
You don't need any special equipment — just your own eyes and clear skies — though binoculars will give you a great view. If it's cloudy, livestream the event from the Lowell Observatory, Time and Date, and High Point Scientific YouTube channels.
Why does a Blood Moon turn red?
During the eclipse, most of the light that will reach the lunar surface will have first have been filtered through Earth's atmosphere. The physics is the same as why the sunset is red and orange. Molecules in our atmosphere scatter most shortwave blue light while most longwave red light passes through.
When is the next Blood Moon total lunar eclipse?
Although the longest partial lunar eclipse since 1440 (and until year 2669) is one to watch, something even more special is coming to North America next year. A total lunar eclipse will occur on May 16, 2022, and the Blood Moon will turn 100% a reddish hue for 84 minutes as the moon gets swallowed whole by Earth's shadow.