Spooky season has been extended this year, with the longest partial lunar eclipse of the twenty-first century set to be visible at the end of the week. November’s full, so-called Beaver moon is coinciding with an eclipse, and it’ll transform into a reddish-copper colour as it enters the Earth’s shadow. Only a tiny fraction will be left silvery-white.
The creepy (and slightly sinister) occurrence will be visible on Thursday in Australia and New Zealand, and early Friday morning in the USA. You can track exactly when it’ll appear above you here, but here’s a rough timeline for the USA:
4.02am Friday – EST
3.02am Friday – CST
2.02am Friday – MST
1.02am Friday – PST
11.02pm Thursday – HST
It should also be visible at 6.18pm (AEDT) in Australia and at around 5.02pm in parts of China. It’ll technically happen on 9.02am on Friday in the UK, but because the sun will have risen, it likely won’t be visible.
The colour change happens because the rays of sunlight hitting the moon travel through the Earth’s atmosphere first. Blue light is scattered because of its shorter wavelength, but red light remains – making the moon that deep, autumnal shade. Magical, magical stuff.
Like gazing up at the night sky? You might want to know about this ‘celestial safari’ that takes you wildlife spotting by day and stargazing by night.