One Week to Lunar Eclipse

Next Friday, Nov. 19, the full Moon will pass through Earth’s shadow, leading to an almost total lunar eclipse. Within three and a half hours, all but a tiny portion of the full Moon will turn a sunset red:

Most of the globe will observe at least part of the eclipse. North America and islands in the Pacific are favorable. From these places, the entire eclipse will be visible from start to finish.

Technically this is a partial eclipse, but it will be very close to a total eclipse. Eclipse expert Fred Espenak notes that “at the time of the largest eclipse… the Moon’s southern limb will lie just 0.8 arcminutes beyond the edge of Earth’s umbral shadow. This is exceptional for a partial eclipse.”

Photographs taken at this moment may have a “diamond ring” quality, with a slice of the brightness of the full Moon shining on only one side of the shadowed disk.

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