The nearly total lunar eclipse that coincides with the full moon this week will be the longest in more than half a millennium.
The Beaver Lunar Eclipse will begin at 7.18 am on November 19 and will last for just over 6 hours. The arrival of the Sun shortly after its start means that viewers in the UK will miss the peak of the eclipse, which begins at 9.02 a.m. and lasts 3 hours 28 minutes.
The peak of the full moon – known as the Beaver Moon, because it traditionally coincides with Native American tribes setting their beaver traps – occurs at 8.57 a.m. GMT on Fridays, but not Thursdays and Fridays. The night will be seen full in both.
The best view of the total lunar eclipse will be in North and South America as well as parts of East Asia.
It comes less than six months after the last partial lunar eclipse, which occurred on May 26, 2021. This week’s lunar eclipse is only slightly less than a total eclipse, with 97.4 percent of the Moon’s diameter covered by Earth’s shadow.
Only the southernmost tip will remain untouched by the shade.
The Moon will actually appear slightly red during a lunar eclipse due to a process called Rayleigh scattering.
“The same phenomenon that makes our sky blue and our sunset red, the moon turns red during a lunar eclipse,” NASA explained on its website.
“Light travels in waves, and different colors of light have different physical properties. Blue light has a shorter wavelength and is more easily scattered by particles in Earth’s atmosphere than red light, which The wavelength is longer.”
The US space agency continues: “Red light, on the other hand, travels more directly through the atmosphere. When the Sun is overhead, we see blue light across the sky. But when the Sun is setting , then sunlight must pass through more of the atmosphere and travel farther before reaching our eyes.
“During a lunar eclipse, the Moon turns red because the only sunlight reaching the Moon passes through Earth’s atmosphere. The more dust or clouds in Earth’s atmosphere during an eclipse, the redder the Moon will appear.
It is this effect that sometimes leads to a lunar eclipse known as a “blood” moon.
The weather in the UK will remain mostly clear on Thursday and Friday nights, according to the Met Office, although parts of the north and west will remain cloudy and the sky may miss the spectacle.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /