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Climate and Environment

Missed The Longest Lunar Eclipse In Nearly 600 Years? Here's The Replay

The moon is about three quarters in shadow with the bottom quarter still sunlit.
The Griffith Observatory is providing a live broadcast of the partial lunar eclipse on Nov. 18-19.
(Courtesy Griffith Observatory)
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In the early morning of Nov. 19, the Earth’s shadow cloaked 97% of the moon, treating us to the longest partial lunar eclipse in nearly 600 years.

Most of North and South America was able to see the eclipse. In Los Angeles, this phenomenon of the skies peaked at 1:03 a.m. PST.

If you missed the show, a live broadcast from the Griffith Observatory was recorded! And it's pretty darn cool.

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While lunar eclipses happen very often, this one was special because it was visible for about three and a half hours. There will be an even more complete lunar eclipse on Nov. 8, 2022, when 99.1% of the Moon’s disk will be shadowed by the Earth.

“As the moon moves into the Earth's shadow, it gets very dark,” Dr. Damian J. Christian, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Cal State Northridge said.

Lunar Eclipse

According to NASA, during a total lunar eclipse the entire Moon falls within the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra.

Because the Moon is at the furthest point of its orbit, it’s moving slower, thus taking longer to get through the Earth’s shadow.

“It’s an exciting way to sort of remind yourself that we’re part of this larger universe,” said Dr. Dave Kary, a professor of astronomy and natural, physical and health sciences at Citrus College. “It’s nice to just stop and look and think, ‘Yeah, but, while all of that is happening for us, the moon, and the sun, and the Earth are all moving around and all this wonderful piece of the cosmos we’re part of here is happening.”

The moon might also appear red because of the Earth’s atmosphere. Kary said “the Earth is just not a smooth ball, the Earth has this atmosphere around it and our air bends light.”

Sunlight passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, bending towards the moon giving it its reddish glow.

“So basically, it’s being lit up by all of the sunsets and all of the sunrises that are happening on the globe right at that moment,” Kary said. “While it will be dark here, there are going to be places where it’s sunrise or sunset right at that point. They are the ones who are lighting up the Moon.”

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Updated November 19, 2021 at 9:53 AM PST
This story updated with the video replay of the eclipse and modified tenses to reflect the event is now in the past.