A lunar eclipse that you can watch is happening this week. Here’s how to see it

An 11-hour, 38-minute total lunar eclipse is set to begin on Friday, and it’s the longest full moon eclipse of the 21st century. It’s so long, astronomers couldn’t fit it into one eclipse cycle, so we’re observing a total eclipse — which happens when the moon moves through a sun-blocking shadow.

It will be the last of two eclipses that will grace the sky this month. The next is due on Oct. 8. (Since Friday is early, it will be only the second one after Friday to occur within just a few days.)

If you’re planning to tune in, the total eclipse begins at 5:07 p.m. EDT. During totality, the moon will be completely bathed in the moon’s natural light. This time is notable because just this past weekend, residents of eastern North America got to witness the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century. But since you won’t be able to see the total eclipse on Friday, it’s safe to make a detailed map of what the lunar eclipse will look like based on your location.

That map will take you to where it’s darkest. That means if you are in the New York City metro area and can see an edge of the city, you’ll get a dim orange and red color. The map can be found in the middle of the above image. The composite is taken from NASA’s Long-Term Eclipsing of the Moon.

And those who live farther south will get a vibrant green color during totality.

On the other hand, if you’re residing in the middle of the middle of the Pacific Northwest, you’ll see a different picture.

So don’t fear if you can’t see the full event. Based on the map, you’ll still get plenty of a night to bask in the universe’s beauty. From one eye, you’ll see the full moon at its fullest as it is covered by the Earth, while the other eye will see the faint outline of the moon’s shadow and glow. The best view of the moon will be in the southern portion of the United States, Japan and New Zealand.

And, yes, that happens to coincide with the total eclipse.

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