Friday's partial lunar eclipse will be the longest within 1,000 years

Partial Eclipse
Posted at 12:08 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 21:02:13-05

If you look at the sky during the early hours of Friday morning, you'll see a once-in-many-lifetimes celestial event.

The moon will move into the Earth's shadow, causing a nearly total lunar eclipse and casting a red hue on the lunar landscape.

"A partial lunar eclipse occurs when part of the moon slips between Earth's shadow," said WPTV First Alert Weather meteorologist Kahtia Hall. "This gives the moon a sort of reddish tint due to sunlight scattered through Earth's atmosphere."

Partial lunar eclipses aren't that rare, but the length of this one is what makes it special.

The eclipse begins just after 1 a.m., but won't be noticeable until closer to 2 a.m. It peaks at just after 4 a.m. then will shrink until it ends at 6:52 a.m.

The last partial lunar eclipse that stretched longer happened 581 years ago on Feb. 18, 1440. Earth won't see a longer eclipse until Feb 8, 2669.

While Friday’s lunar eclipse will technically be partial, it will look a lot like a total lunar eclipse. Most locations will see up to 97% of the moon slip into Earth’s shadow.