Longest partial lunar eclipse of century to occur Friday morning

An astronomical event will take place this week, and all of North America will have a chance to see it.

A partial lunar eclipse, which will occur during the November full moon, will be visible in the pre-dawn hours Friday. It will also be the longest in centuries.

A partial lunar eclipse happens when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon, casting a shadow on the moon. If the entire moon is in Earth’s umbral shadow, or the darkest part of the shadow, it is a total lunar eclipse. If only part of the moon is in Earth’s umbral shadow, it is a partial lunar eclipse.

Friday’s lunar eclipse will almost be a total lunar eclipse, but not quite. About 97% of the moon will be in the earth’s shadow. This means most of the moon will take on the dimmed, reddish look of a lunar eclipse, while a tiny sliver will still look normal. In total, the partial lunar eclipse is expected to last three hours and 28 minutes, making it the longest one not just of the 21st century, but in more than 580 years, NASA records show.

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