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Weather blog: What you need to know about 2021 partial lunar eclipse

Best time for viewing in the CSRA is between 3:30 - 4:30 AM Friday morning.
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 11:01 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - There is a special astronomical event happening early Friday morning. A partial lunar eclipse will last for six hours. A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and moon all align perfectly to allow the Earth to cast a shadow on the moon.

A partial lunar eclipse will be visible in the CSRA early Friday morning.
A partial lunar eclipse will be visible in the CSRA early Friday morning.(WRDW)

There are two parts to the shadow Earth creates. The outer part of the shadow is called the penumbra and starts to move over the moon first. When the moon passes through the penumbra it will look like the moon is starting to get slightly darker. The center of Earth’s shadow, known as the umbra, is the second part of Earth’s shadow. When the umbra is cast over the moon, it gives it a reddish glow. This is the ideal time to see the partial lunar eclipse. The moon will not completely pass through the umbra, which is why this is a “partial” lunar eclipse, but it will be nearly 97% covered by the umbra at the peak and still worth checking out!

The eclipse will take place between 1-7 a.m. Friday. The best viewing of the eclipse for the CSRA will be between 3:30 and 4:30 a.m. As Earth’s umbra is cast over the moon, you can expect to see an orange/reddish glow from the surface of the moon. The peak time when the moon is covered by the umbra is 4:02 AM for the Augusta/Aiken area.

This year’s eclipse will be best early Nov. 19 for the entire North American continent – and it will be the longest partial lunar eclipse in over 500 years. The duration of the eclipse will be six hours in total. The previous partial lunar eclipse that lasted las long happened on Feb. 18, 1440. The next time Earth will see a partial lunar eclipse as lengthy as this month’s will be on Feb. 8, 2669.

Best viewing of the partial lunar eclipse will be between 3:30 - 4:30 am for the CSRA.
Best viewing of the partial lunar eclipse will be between 3:30 - 4:30 am for the CSRA.(WRDW)

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