2021's Final Lunar Eclipse Is A Must-See Event!

By

Word Count

333 words

Reading Level

Listen to Article

The November partial lunar eclipse will be the longest in 1000 years (Credit: NASA)

Partial lunar eclipses are typically not considered as newsworthy as total lunar eclipses. However, the one taking place overnight on November 18 and 19, 2021, is definitely worthy of a mention. It is the year's final partial lunar eclipse — and the longest one in 1000 years. With 97 percent of the Moon slipping into Earth's shadow, the celestial event also promises to be spectacular. The eclipse will be visible to a large area of the globe. Some of the best views will be reserved for North American residents.

NASA officials estimate the almost-total eclipse to last about 3 hours, 28 minutes, and 23 seconds. It will begin at about 2:19 a.m. EST on November 19 (11:19 PST on November 18), reach its maximum around 4 a.m. EST (1 a.m. PST), and end at 5:47 a.m. EST (2:47 a.m. PST). At maximum eclipse — when most of the Moon's face will be covered by the Earth's shadow — the satellite will take on the spooky red hue usually seen during total lunar eclipses.

Map showing the visibility of the Nov. 18-19 partial lunar eclipse. Darker areas indicate greater visibility (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The November eclipse's long duration is the result of a "micromoon." During the eclipse's peak point, the Moon will be just 41 hours from apogee — its farthest point from Earth. The distance causes our satellite to travel slower along its orbit and take longer to pass through Earth's shadow. In contrast, the May 2021 eclipse, which occurred just 9 hours after perigee — the Moon's closest distance to Earth — featured a supermoon.

A partial lunar eclipse happens when our planet comes in between the Sun and a full Moon. Since the three are not perfectly aligned, only part of the Moon's visible surface is covered by the Earth's shadow. Unlike solar eclipses, the celestial event can be viewed without any protective glasses.

While US residents will have to stay up late or rise early to view the partial eclipse, it may be worth losing sleep over. That's because the next partial lunar eclipse of this length will not occur until February 8, 2669!

Resources: Space.com, LiveScience.com. Earthsky.org, NASA.org

Workbook

Get the Workbook for this article!

Workbook contains: Article, Reading Comprehension, Critical Thinking Questions, Vocabulary in Context (+ answers), Multiple Choice Quiz (+ answers), Parts of Speech Quiz (+ answers), Vocabulary Game (+ answers)
Cite Article
125 Comments
  • jonination
    joninationabout 2 hours
    I don't think ive ever seen a solar eclipse, i prolly had i just dont have good memory lol.
    • tatay1545
      tatay15455 days
      my friend saw it i dinit see it
      • thedarklord
        Sadly i missed it
        • mrstinkybeast
          I SAW IT!
          • alpha_dog778
            When I was in like 2nd grade we had one and it was crazy
            • alpha_dog778
              Aww I missed it
              • bird_lover
                I saw a Solar Eclipse a few years ago. It was so cool!
                • citykitty
                  citykitty10 days
                  That would be so cool to see
                  • lkop
                    lkop10 days
                    Loved it it was pretty
                    • plopiy
                      plopiy10 days
                      Nice 😎 But I missed it