SAN ANTONIO – A total lunar eclipse will be visible in parts of North America on Nov. 8, including San Antonio.
The sun, moon and Earth will come together to create a total lunar eclipse starting around 2 a.m. A total lunar eclipse occurs when a full moon (in this case, November’s Beaver Moon), moves into the Earth’s shadow. The only light the moon receives is filtered by the Earth’s atmosphere, which will cause the moon to appear to be a reddish color. The total lunar eclipse will be visible in North America, parts of South America, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
“This is the second total lunar eclipse this year. We last saw one on May 16th and it was a stunner! It remains to be seen if clouds will cooperate this go-round, with the date just outside of our forecast range. Check back with us on the KSAT Weather app to see the most up-to-date forecast,” said KSAT meteorologist Justin Horne.
Here is the timeline for the eclipse, provided by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory:
- 2:02 a.m. - The edge of the Moon will begin entering the penumbra. You’ll likely only notice dim shading (if anything at all).
- 3:09 a.m. - The edge of the Moon will begin entering the umbra and significant darkening will be noticeable.
- 4:16 a.m. - The Moon will be completely inside the umbra, marking the beginning of the total lunar eclipse, also known as totality.
- 4:59 a.m. – The Moon will be halfway through its path across the umbra, marking the moment of greatest eclipse, when the moon turns reddish-orange.
- 5:41 a.m. - The edge of the Moon will begin exiting the umbra and moving into the opposite side of the penumbra. At this point, the Moon will have just set in the most northeastern portions of the continental United States. More and more eastern states will see the Moon set over the next hour as the eclipse progresses.
- 6:49 a.m. - Those in the central United States will see the Moon begin setting around this time. The Moon will continue exiting the penumbra until the eclipse officially ends at 7:56 a.m., remaining visible only to viewers in the western United States.
Total lunar eclipses are sometimes referred to as a blood moon because the moon turns a reddish color. Lunar eclipses are important because they help provide insight into the Earth’s motion in space.
According to the JPL, one such instance of this is modern-day astronomers’ use of ancient eclipse records. Scientists have compared the records with computer simulations, which help determine the rate at which Earth’s rotation is slowing.
As a bonus, stargazers will also be able to see Uranus during the full moon, according to EarthSky.org. However, you might need binoculars to see it.