The longest lunar eclipse in almost 600 years is approaching

From an astronomical point of view, this will be an extraordinary phenomenon: the Earth will overshadow the moon’s disk for more than three hours.

The longest lunar eclipse in the last 581 years will occur on Friday, November 19. It will take 3 hours, 28 minutes and 23 seconds.

People could last see the longer partial lunar eclipse on February 18, 1440, and will experience the next, comparable phenomenon until February 8, 2669. This means that on Friday we will witness the longest lunar eclipse in 1229 years.

Eclipse from North America, the Pacific and Eastern Siberia will be the best and longest observable, the space agency warns. NASA. During the rising of the Moon, it will be briefly visible in Australia and Asia, and during its setting in South America, or parts of Europe, including the Czech Republic. This is evident from the following figure.

Earth map showing the visibility of a lunar eclipse. | zdroj: Kredit-EarthSky

The lunar eclipse, shown in the following diagram, occurs at full moon when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are in a straight line and the moon’s disk is partially or completely obscured by the Earth.

The reason for the uniquely long period of the current eclipse is that the Moon moves in its elliptical orbit at almost the farthest point from Earth.


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Lunar and solar eclipses. | source:
Profimedia

NASA animation shows how much the moon will be in the shadow this time. At 9:03 UT (10:03 CET), a maximum eclipse occurs, with only three percent of the Moon’s surface remaining illuminated by direct sunlight. If we included in the eclipse not only a full shadow (umbra), but also a partial shadow (penumbra), when the eclipse is not visible to the naked eye, this phenomenon would last six hours and two minutes.


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The course of the lunar eclipse. | zdroj:
Credit-NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

You will be able to watch the eclipse on Friday, November 19 also in the Czech Republic. But only at dawn. Its beginning should be visible in Prague and the Central Bohemian Region from 7:02 to 7:18 CET. (More detailed information can be found on the website Time and Date).


Visibility_Lunar_Eclipse_2021-11-19_Prague


source: TimeandData

However, the weather forecast is not favorable for observation. They predict Friday morning meteorologists cloudy to overcast …

So maybe next time. The next eclipse that you will be able to observe from the Czech Republic will again be a partial lunar eclipse. It will occur on May 16, 2022 – and again in the morning. It will take 25 minutes and 30 seconds.

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