3 things to know about the partial lunar eclipse on Friday night

Wondering what the partial lunar eclipse was like? We’ve got you covered:

What was it like?

Late Friday night into Saturday morning, a partial lunar eclipse filled the Earth’s light with the reddish-orange hues that normally dominate the moon.

Nearly 80% of the moon turned red. A total lunar eclipse is when the moon is completely blocked from Earth’s sun-facing side by the planet’s shadow. Because the moon does not have enough of a natural horizon to present such a dark red color, an eclipse requires partial phases in which part of the moon turns a reddish color.

This eclipse was the longest lunar eclipse of 2019 — 5 hours, 40 minutes, 30 seconds — and the 15th longest total lunar eclipse since the beginning of the 21st century. Friday’s eclipse was also the longest total lunar eclipse since December 3, 1982, when it lasted 6 hours, 42 minutes, 28 seconds.

This isn’t the first time a lunar eclipse has been visible from the Americas. In August 2008, the entire Earth’s dark shadow touched the moon, and in July 2011, a partial lunar eclipse was visible from the North and South American continents and part of Western Europe.

Weather permitting, viewers in the Northern Hemisphere have the best view.

So, will it happen again in your lifetime?

Hopefully not. The next total lunar eclipse is not expected until October 9, 2021. Because the total phases occur only during a lunar eclipse, they are not visible during daytime hours.

The full eclipse is called a blood moon, or wolf moon. It is named that because the eerie red hue comes from sunlight scattering off Earth’s dusty and rocky surfaces.

A lunar eclipse is called a blood moon because the eerie red hue comes from sunlight passing through Earth’s atmosphere.

The late-night phase will be visible throughout the Earth’s dark Eastern half, from southern Spain and the Balkans northward to Russia and China. For Australia and New Zealand, the partial phase will begin at the same time and continue until late in the evening.

And, of course, there is a bright side: The new moon will be the brightest in a decade.

Leave a Comment