TORONTO — Early risers will be in for a treat on Friday morning as the longest partial lunar eclipse in nearly 600 years is will emerge.
A lunar eclipse takes place when the Earth, sun and moon align in a way that causes the Earth to cast a shadow onto the moon, making the moon appear reddish in colour.
NASA says the moon is expected to enter the umbra, or the inner part of the Earth’s shadow, at around 2.18 a.m. EST.
The eclipse is expected to end at around 5:47 a.m. EST, after lasting nearly three and a half hours. This makes it the longest partial lunar eclipse in 580 years, according to the Holcomb Observatory at Indiana’s Butler University. NASA also says this partial lunar eclipse will be the longest one in the 21st century.
The eclipse is expected to be visible in all of North America and the Pacific, as well as parts of South America, Australia and East Asia. The eclipse also coincides with the November full moon, which has been nicknamed the “Beaver Moon” by the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
“This is the time of year when beavers begin to take shelter in their lodges, having laid up sufficient stores of food for the long winter ahead,” the almanac says.
Lunar eclipses generally occur around twice a year according to the Canadian Space Agency, making them far more common than solar eclipses. If you miss Friday’s lunar eclipse, you can catch the next one on May 16, 2022, when a total lunar eclipse will be at least partially visible across most of Canada.
–with files from ctvnews.ca