The Longest Partial Lunar Eclipse in 580 Years Arrives Overnight Tonight

You'll have to be out late (or early) on Friday, November 19, to catch this one.

how to see lunar eclipse 2021
Photo by Aumphotography via Getty Images

A partial lunar eclipse is coming, and it's a lengthy one. It's the longest partial lunar eclipse in 580 years.

The eclipse will occur early on the morning of Friday, November 19, and it's going to be visible across the entire United States, per Space.com. It won't be a total lunar eclipse that turns the moon entirely red as the Earth passes directly between the sun and moon. It'll be a partial eclipse with the moon mostly obscured by Earth's shadow, but it will be close. Space.com says that 97.4% of the moon's diameter will have slid into the shadow at its peak.

lunar eclipse november 2021
Image courtesy of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Youtube

The partial eclipse starts at 2:18 am ET, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's monthly What's Up video. The eclipse will reach its maximum at 4:02 am with just a sliver of the moon sitting outside the Earth's shadow. At that time, most of the moon will take on a slightly ruddy red hue. The partial eclipse will end at 5:47 am. 

The entirety of the eclipse will be visible from North America and most of the Pacific Ocean. You can get a sense of where the eclipse will be visible based on the above map from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Everywhere in the darkened portion of the map will have a view of the eclipse.

We're not far from the peak of the Leonid meteor shower, so keep an eye out for shooting stars, too. They may be hard to spot due to interference from the moon's light—moreover, there just aren't that many of them at this point—but you might get lucky and see a shooting star near the partial lunar eclipse.

Ready to go stargazing?

Here are all the best stargazing events that you can get out and see this month or you could stay in a stream the northern lights from home. If you're just getting started, check out our guide to astronomy for beginners or easy stargazing road trips from big US cities

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin Nelson on Twitter.