'Beaver Moon' is the longest half-moon eclipse in centuries
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'Beaver Moon' is the longest half-moon eclipse in centuries

'Beaver Moon' is the longest half-moon eclipse in centuries

Stargazers across North America can expect to be dazzled by a red-hued “beaver” full moon on Thursday night and into Friday morning, during the longest partial lunar eclipse in almost six centuries.

 

Lunar eclipses happen when Earth blocks the sun’s light, which usually illuminates the moon. Early on Friday, more than 97% of the full moon’s diameter will be covered by Earth’s shadow, according to Space.com.

 

The partial eclipse will take more than six hours, the longest of its kind in 580 years, according to Space.com. The moon is expected to enter the penumbra – the Earth’s outer shadow – around 1.02am ET, though the initial effect will be pretty faint.

 

By around 4am ET, night owls and early birds will be able to catch the near-total eclipse – “the best viewing” of the night, according to NASA. Two total lunar eclipses are on the way, in May and November next year.

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