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FIRST ALERT: The latest lunar eclipse forecast

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 5:55 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2021 at 4:37 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A nearly total lunar eclipse will take place early Friday morning.

The lunar eclipse will begin at 2:18 A.M. Friday morning as the first small portion of the moon will start to be covered by the Earth’s shadow.

A noticeable darkening of the moon will start to appear by 3:00 A.M.

Clouds will gradually clear as the eclipse takes place early Friday morning.
Clouds will gradually clear as the eclipse takes place early Friday morning.(WMBF)

A cold front moving through the area tonight will keep skies mostly cloudy at times. As the eclipse starts at 2:18 A.M., skies will likely remain mostly cloudy. However, as dry air returns to the region, skies will gradually clear. The latest data suggests that while there will still be some clouds overhead at the time of the peak eclipse, these clouds will be scattered enough and thin enough to view the moon nearly covered by the Earth’s shadow.

The thickest clouds will remain over the ocean during the eclipse.  Some scattered high, thin...
The thickest clouds will remain over the ocean during the eclipse. Some scattered high, thin clouds will remain, but should significantly reduce the view.(WMBF)

Temperatures at 4:00 A.M. will be in the lower to middle 50s and slowly falling. A gusty breeze will add an extra chill to the air at times.

A partial lunar eclipse happens when the Earth moves between the Sun and the full moon. Because they are not totally aligned, only a part of the Moon’s surface moves into the dark part of the Earth’s shadow.

In the case of Friday morning’s lunar eclipse, just over 99% of the moon’s surface will be covered by the Earth’s shadow resulting in an almost full eclipse.

Lunar eclipses are some of the most easy-to-watch astronomical events. All you need to see them are clear skies and a pair of eyes.

A partial lunar eclipse will take place early Friday morning.
A partial lunar eclipse will take place early Friday morning.(WMBF)

The maximum lunar eclipse will take place at 4:02 A.M. when 99.1% of the moon will be covered by the shadow of the Earth. The result will be the moon appearing to be very dark, but also with a likely red or deep orange color. This deep red and orange color happens as light from the sun is still able to pass through the Earth’s atmosphere and faintly illuminate the moon.

The eclipse will end at 5:47 A.M.

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