A Beaver Moon lunar eclipse hits the sky Nov. 19—learn how to see it in Alabama

Moon, Eclipse
Don’t you wish you could grab the moon? Photo via David Frings

Space fans, this one’s for you! A Beaver Moon partial lunar eclipse will appear in the sky in the pre-dawn hours of Friday, November 19. Alabama has optimal viewing, so set your alarm and drag yourself outside for a magnificent sight. Read on for details.

What is a partial lunar eclipse?

It’s a rare time when the moon passes through Earth’s shadow. Essentially, it is when the Earth moves between the moon and the sun. What’s cool about this particular partial eclipse is that it will be the longest in 580 years! It also fall just shy of being a total eclipse with it covering 97.4% of the moon’s diameter.

You may be wondering why I used the term “Beaver Moon”. Great question! November’s full moon is often referred to a the Beaver Moon because it typically occurs when beavers are preparing for winter. This month’s full moon coincides with the partial lunar eclipse. The result: a Beaver Moon partial lunar eclipse

When to watch

Lunar Eclipse
The magnificent moon. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

To witness the partial lunar eclipse, prepare to wake up early because it takes place during the wee pre-dawn hours of Friday, November 19.

For optimal viewing, look west because the moon will appear much higher from the western part of the continent. Don’t know which way is west? Your cell phone has an app for that.

While exact times are subject to change, because, well, we can’t control happenings in space… here is a rundown of key times to watch:

  • 12:02AM: The moon enters the penumbra, the lightest part of the moon’s shadow. Without special equipment like a telescope, it will be hard to spot with the naked eye.
  • 1:18AM: The moon arrives at the umbra. Over the next 3.5 hours, you’ll witness the moon passing through deep shadows.
  • 3:02AM: The partial eclipse hits its peak. During this time, the moon will appear red.
  • 4:47AM: The moon exits umbra.
  • 6:03AM: Eclipse ends.
  • Total time: 3 hours, 28 minutes and 23 seconds

When to watch next

Can’t get enough of the moon and the magical things it does? You’ll have two chances in 2022 to catch an eclipse: May 15-16 and November 8.

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Patience Itson
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