The longest partial lunar eclipse in almost 600 years took place at dawn last Friday, November 19th, and was seen in almost all of Latin America and North America.
At the height of the phenomenon, the shadow of the Earth covered more than 97% of the surface of the Moon and took on a reddish appearance. At 3 hours and 28 minutes in length, it was the longest lunar eclipse in the last 580 years.
Where was it visible?
Eclipses like this occur when the Moon passes partially through the Earth’s shadow (penumbra) and only part of the satellite passes through the darkest shadow (umbra).
Depending on the magnitude of the eclipse, a dark red, rusty, or simply charcoal gray color may appear on the shaded part of the lunar surface. The phenomenon this Friday was visible throughout the American continent, northern Europe, eastern Asia, the Asia-Pacific region and Australia.
Partial lunar eclipses occur more frequently than total eclipses, but this year’s was unusually long. The previous one took place in 2018 and lasted only one hour and 43 minutes, that is, about two hours less than what happened this Friday. The eclipse could also be seen in New York.
An early morning show
In the case of Latin America, the countries of the region had the best opportunity to appreciate the phenomenon almost in its entirety. In the case of Mexico, the astrological event could be observed between 00:02 and 04:51. Here, the climax, when 97% of the Moon was covered, occurred at 03:02.
In Bogotá and Lima it happened at 04:02, Caracas at 05:02 and Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile at 06:02. Outside of Latin America, the eclipse could be observed in cities in the US, Spain and Japan, among others.
As the Moon set on the horizon and the first rays of the morning began, the phenomenon faded for the countries with the most advanced hours. Those areas that had good weather conditions were able to observe how the Moon turned reddish. The year 2021 will close with another total solar eclipse on December 4.
Although it is the most anticipated spectacle of its kind, since the Moon totally blocks the light of the Sun and generates darkness, it will be an eclipse visible in its entirety only in some remote areas, among others, Antarctica, the South Atlantic and the southern tip of Africa.