How and When to Spot a Lunar Eclipse This Weekend
As the holiday weekend winds down and we prepare to go back to work for these awkward weeks between holidays when it seems like everyone else is out of the office, but we’re all very much still here, we have another chance to catch something interesting in the night sky. First of all, there will be a full moon. And, as an added bonus, there will also be a partial lunar eclipse. Here’s what to look for and when to head outside.
What to know about this full moon
Eclipse aside, this will be a pretty exciting full moon—the last before the winter solstice on December 21. For this reason, it has traditionally been an important full moon in a variety of cultures around the world, and goes by many names, including: the Cold Moon, Frost Moon, Winter Moon, Beaver Moon, Oak Moon, Moon Before Yule, Child Moon, Kartik Purnima, Karthika Deepam and Tazaungdaing Festival Moon and Ill Poya.
This full moon will shine directly in front of Taurus the Bull, so you’ll also have the chance to get a decent view of this constellation.
How to spot the partial eclipse
A few days ago, we discussed how to see the Earth’s shadow: that shadow is involved here, as well. Specifically, the partial eclipse will happen when full moon passes through the Earth’s light shadow, according to EarthSky.org. But don’t expect anything too dramatic: it’ll be more like a subtle shading on the moon.
The eclipse will only be visible without telescopes or other equipment for about an hour tonight/early tomorrow morning. Your best bet at seeing the eclipse is at its mid-point, which will be at 4:43 a.m. EST on Monday, November 30th. As usual, the darker the sky, the better your chances are of seeing more of the lunar eclipse.