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Lunar Eclipse Friday Morning

18 Nov 2021, 8:00 pm

Set your alarms now, the frost moon will be tuning red on Friday morning! You’ll have to stay up late, or get up early, but the moon will be putting on a show for all of North America during the pre-dawn hours of November 17th, with the peak around 4:00 am EST.

Almost total eclipse

Video credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

This eclipse will not be a “total” eclipse, but it will be very close.

During a lunar eclipse, the moon passes through one or two sections of earth’s shadow, called the penumbra and the umbra. During a total eclipse, the moon is completely covered by the darkest portion of the shadow, the umbra. This Friday, around 99.1% of the Moon will be within Earth’s umbra, leaving all but a tiny sliver covered.

Even though it won’t be a total eclipse, the familiar red hue created by the umbra should still be visible around the lead up to the peak.

When to Watch

Unless you have 6 hours to kill, you’ll probably just want to watch around the time of totality.

On the East Coast, expect the greatest extend of the eclipse to occur just after 4:00 am, while on the West Coast, this will occur just after 1:00 am.

NASA posted the following table of times for the event, which you can access here.

Where to look:

Image credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

Timing for this lunar eclipse will be great for all of the the North American continent. Those farther east will have to look toward the western horizon, so if your view to the west is blocked by trees or terrain, you may have to move a bit to catch the red color during the greatest extent.

The moon should be high enough in the sky for Mountain and Pacific time zones to see without issue.

The NASA graphic above shows where the eclipse is visible (areas not in the shaded region).

How to Photograph

Your phone may not be the best option, since a digital zoom will lower the quality of the photo on most phones. If you don’t have an optical zoom, use your phone’s night mode.

If you have a camera with manual settings, taking an exposure several seconds long will help bring out the red color of the eclipse, though it will wash out the sliver of the moon that will still be uncovered. Use a tripod or find an object that will steady your camera, bring the ISO up to 800 or higher, and shoot! Depending on the amount of the moon covered, you may need to extend the exposure period.

About the author

Rob grew up in South Florida, where daily afternoon storms and hurricanes piqued his interest in meteorology early on. That interest was fostered by his teachers and his father, who one time brought him onto the roof of their home to watch a funnel cloud move through the Everglades several miles away. ... Load MoreYears of filmmaking and tv production in high school gradually pushed him toward broadcast meteorology at Florida State University, where he joined and eventually led the student run daily weather show. After graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Meteorology, he began his career at KESQ in Palm Springs, California before heading to KFSN in Fresno and WLOS in Asheville, North Carolina. He has covered a diverse array of extreme weather events, including haboobs and flash flooding in the desert, extreme snow in the Sierra, hurricanes, and Appalachian ice storms. He also enjoys telling stories and reporting about weather issues.

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