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Tonight: Partial lunar eclipse is longest in centuries

A ghostly looking moon is shrouded in cloud and has a crescent-shaped shadow cut out of the top
Brad Riza/NASA
Partial lunar eclipse

The eclipse will last just over six hours from start to finish. That’s longer than any other partial lunar eclipse in the past five hundred years, and the record won’t be broken until the 27th century.

Look for the moon high in the western sky. For observers in Northern Arizona, the penumbra (or faintest part of Earth’s shadow) will begin to veil the moon at 11 pm. The show truly begins just after midnight, when the first bite disappears. At maximum eclipse, around 2am, ninety-seven percent of the moon will turn blood-red and only a sliver will remain in sunlight. The shadow will slide away over the next three hours.

The moon will pass through Earth’s shadow more slowly than usual because it’s currently at its farthest point from Earth in its orbit, known as a ‘micromoon.’

Skywatchers might also spot a few shooting stars from the ongoing Leonid meteor shower.

Lowell Observatory will livestream the eclipse starting at 12:15am. Link here:

Eclipse times (Arizona):

Penumbral eclipse begins: 11:02pm (November 18)

Partial eclipse begins: 12:18am (November 19)

Maximum eclipse: 2:02am

Partial eclipse ends: 3:47am

Penumbral eclipse ends: 5:03am

Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.