The longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century will occur this November 19, 2021 and much of the American continent will be its main witness. It is one of the main most important phenomena that are manifested in our natural satellite and the good news is that it will be observable with the naked eye.
According to Time and Date, a portal specialized in astronomical events, it will last three hours, 28 minutes and 23 seconds. According to NASA‘s lunar eclipse registry, a lunar eclipse of a similar extent has not occurred since 1440 and will not occur again for six centuries, in 2669.
During lunar eclipses, the shadow of planet Earth covers the visible part of the Moon. On this occasion, the shadow will be projected on 97% of the natural satellite, so it will be a partial eclipse with a small strip illuminated by the Sun. However, due to the magnitude of the shadow, it will look like a total one.
Likewise, the satellite will acquire a reddish color, since sunlight will be scattered in its shortest lengths (blue) upon contact with the Earth’s atmosphere, allowing the longest lengths (orange and red) to impact the moon. This appearance of the star is known as the blood moon.
The lunar eclipse will take place in the early morning of November 19, 2021 from the 7.18 UTC until 10.47 UTC. In the middle of its journey (9.02 UTC) it will be in its maximum phase and, therefore, it will appear almost entirely red.
The phenomenon will be visible throughout the continent of America; however, visibility conditions will vary depending on the Location and the time zone.
In North America (Canada, the United States and Mexico), people will be able to witness the event for as long as possible: from when the Moon enters the Earth’s shadow until it leaves it.
Central America, the Caribbean, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela will also be a good setting for observation, since the maximum phase of the eclipse can be witnessed at a point high enough in the sky. However, it will not be visible when the shadow leaves the Moon because it will already be below the horizon.
In Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and western Brazil, the almost complete ‘blood moon’ will also be visible, but for less time and closer to the horizon.
On the other hand, in northeast China, eastern Europe, New Zealand and Japan, the eclipse could be observed in its last phase when the first hours of the night of November 19 arrive.
To observe the phenomenon it will not be necessary to have special equipment such as telescopes or binoculars, but if recommended avoid too much lighting at the observation site.
At the beginning of the eclipse, the Moon will be located high in the sky, but as it reaches its maximum point it will descend towards the west. When it dawns it will already have hidden below the horizon.