Lunar eclipse: what you need to know before the eclipse of November 19

Lunar eclipses are one of the most visually impressive celestial events, and on November 19 many people around the world will be able to witness a partial one. Just two weeks later, on December 4, there will be a total solar eclipse.

Want to know what happens during a lunar eclipse, what to expect, and when and where you can see it?

Here is everything you need to know about lunar eclipses.

When is the next lunar eclipse?

The next lunar eclipse, a partial one, will take place late at night on November 18 and early November 19, at 06:02 UTC. However, Israelis will be disappointed to learn that the partial eclipse will not be available.

American readers of the Jerusalem Post are luckier and will be able to see the shadow of the Earth partially passing over the Moon on the night of November 18. If you live in New York, the Moon will pass through Earth’s twilight, the area where the sunlight is obscured, at 1:02 am EST. The partial eclipse, when the moon will partially pass through the Earth’s umbra, where the sunlight is totally blocked, will begin at 2:18 a.m., reach its zenith at 4:02 a.m., and end at 5: 47 am

Los Angeles readers will be able to view the partial lunar eclipse at more reasonable viewing times. The prenumbral eclipse begins in the Los Angeles area on November 18 at 10:02 pm and the partial eclipse will begin at 11:18 pm At 1:02 am the moon will be farther away in Earth’s shadow. The partial eclipse will end at 2:47 am on November 19, and the prenumbral eclipse will end almost two hours later, at 4:03 am.

Where is the lunar eclipse of 2021 visible?

The partial lunar eclipse of November 2021 will not be visible from Israel, the rest of the Middle East, most of Africa, Eastern Europe and central Asia. Those who live in Western Europe, Eastern Asia, North and South America and Australia will be able to see the eclipse, with varying degrees of visibility and time availability.

What Causes a Lunar Eclipse?

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned, and the Earth blocks sunlight from reaching its satellite. The Earth casts a shadow, called the umbra, and because the planet is spherical and the atmosphere refracts light, there is also a partial shadow called the preumbra.

As the Moon passes into Earth’s shadow, a spherical black disk will appear to move across its surface. Not all eclipses completely cover the Moon in shadows.

There are three types of eclipses: total, partial, and prethreshold. In prethreshold eclipses, the Moon passes into the partial shadow of the Earth and will appear darker. In partial eclipses, the moon partially passes the Earth’s umbra and will appear in various crescent shapes as the disk’s shadow passes along its surface, but will never completely cover it. In a total lunar eclipse, the moon completely enters the umbra, but despite being in shadow, it will still be visible to certain degrees.

There is also a very rare type of total lunar eclipse called a central total eclipse, in which the moon enters the antisolar point, the very center of the Earth’s umbra.

A lunar eclipse diagram showing the geometry of the Earth’s umbra and preumbra and its impact on the moon. (credit: Sagredo / Wikimedia Commons)

During all eclipses, the Moon will change color to a dark red or bronze color, the exact color will depend on the atmospheric conditions on Earth. A total eclipse is sometimes called a “blood moon” because of the altered red coloration, which has led to perceptions in the past that the event is supernatural in nature.

Lunar eclipses occur during full moons, when the Moon is aligned with the Earth and the Sun and is fully illuminated by sunlight. Not every full moon is a lunar eclipse because the moon orbits the Earth at a different angle than the Earth and the Moon orbits the Sun.

Not all eclipses last the same amount of time, depending on how far into the umbra between the Moon. The closeness of the Moon to Earth also influences the duration of the eclipse. The further the Moon is from the Earth, the slower the orbit will be and therefore the longer the eclipse will be.

How often do lunar eclipses occur?

about twice every three years. The last one was on May 25 and 26, but for the most part it could only be seen fully in Australia and the Pacific Ocean. The next lunar eclipse after the partial eclipse on November 19 will be May 16, 2022. This will be a total lunar eclipse, but once again, Israelis will not be able to see it. It will only be visible in Africa, Europe, and North and South America.

NASA catalogs lunar and solar eclipses, having recorded them since 1901, and has calculated their occurrence until 2100. Since 2000 BC. C. until 3000 d. C., there will be 12,064 eclipses.

What is the difference between a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse?

While a lunar eclipse is the Earth blocking light from the Sun, a solar eclipse is when the Moon passes directly between the Sun and Earth. Like a lunar eclipse, a black disk slowly devours the Sun as the Moon passes between the two bodies.

Solar eclipses can also be partial or total. When the Sun is covered by the Moon, it is accompanied by darkness. The Moon appears dark with only a halo of light around it. In an annular solar eclipse, the Moon is in the center of the sun and the halo is much wider. Looking at a solar eclipse directly can damage vision, so observers should wear eye protection. A lunar eclipse, on the other hand, is completely safe to see without protection.

Solar and lunar eclipses generally occur a few weeks apart. This happens because for both types of eclipses, the bodies must be aligned. As the Moon continues its orbit, it rotates to the other side of the Earth allowing the other type of eclipse to occur.

The last solar eclipse was annular and occurred on June 10, 2021. The next solar eclipse will be on December 4, just two weeks after the November lunar eclipse, and it will be total. Unfortunately, very few people will be able to observe the event, as the full eclipse will only be visible from Antarctica.

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