It’s a half-millennial lunar eclipse; here’s what you can see

The ‘almost total’ eclipse appears reddish, is the longest in nearly 600 years, and visible from parts of India

The sun’s red beams pass through the Earth's atmosphere, get deflected and fall on the moon. This makes the moon appear reddish. Pic: NASA

Friday, November 19, is set to witness an ‘almost total’ lunar eclipse, as the moon falls into the Earth’s shadow and takes on a reddish hue. It’s the last lunar eclipse of 2021, and the longest partial lunar eclipse in 580 years, say scientists.

The last time such an event happened was on February 18, 1440. It will happen again on February 8, 2669.

“Moongazers unite! The longest partial lunar eclipse of this century will occur overnight, peaking early Nov. 19 at 4:03am ET (09:03 UTC),” said NASA on Twitter. In Indian Standard Time, it translates to 12.48 pm to 4.17 pm.

The partial lunar eclipse is well visible from North America, South America, eastern Asia, Australia and the Pacific region.


In India, it can be viewed — in parts of the North-East — at 2.34 pm, when 97% of the moon will be under the Earth’s shadow, said a PTI report. The phenomenon will be visible from select locations in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, it quoted Debiprosad Duari, Director of Research and Academic at MP Birla Planetarium, as saying.

The duration of the eclipse — 3 hours, 28 minutes and 24 seconds — makes it the longest in 580 years.

Scientists said it would appear blood red in colour. This occurs when the sun’s red beams pass through the Earth’s atmosphere, get deflected and fall on the moon.