Watching the Skies: Partial lunar eclipse early Friday morning

Watching The Skies

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — An exciting astronomical event will take place this week, and all of North America will have a chance to see it. 

Early in the morning on Friday, Nov. 19, a partial lunar eclipse will take place. This happens when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon, casting a shadow on the moon. If the entire moon is in Earth’s umbral shadow, or the darkest part of the shadow, it is a total lunar eclipse. If only part of the moon is in Earth’s umbral shadow, it is a partial lunar eclipse. 

The lunar eclipse on Nov. 19 will almost be a total lunar eclipse, but not quite. About 97% of the moon will be in the earth’s shadow. This means most of the moon will take on the dimmed, reddish look of a lunar eclipse, while a tiny sliver will still look normal. 

The moon will be in Earth’s shadow for several hours, and it will be visible for all of North America — that is if cloud conditions allow. In West Michigan, the partial eclipse will begin around 2:18 a.m. Friday, Nov. 19. The maximum eclipse will occur around 4:03 a.m. Friday. Finally, the partial eclipse will end around 5:47 a.m. Friday. 

November is the third cloudiest month of the year in Grand Rapids, so statistics are not necessarily on our side for getting a glimpse of this eclipse. Start thinking clear thoughts as we get closer to Friday.

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