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You’re going to want to keep your eyes on the skies, Vancouver: the longest partial lunar eclipse in nearly 600 years is happening tonight.
The eclipse will last a staggering three hours, 28 minutes, and 23 seconds, according to NASA. At the height of the eclipse, 98% of the moon will be covered by the earth’s’ shadow.
A faint, coppery glow will envelop the moon, and combined with the yellow sliver that will remain uneclipsed, the celestial extravaganza will create a “Japanese Lantern Effect.”
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, this will be “a strikingly beautiful sight” for the naked eye. Those peeking through binoculars or a telescope are in for an even greater show.
In Vancouver, the lunar eclipse will, technically, begin at 10:02 pm, but won’t be visible until about 11 pm tonight. It will reach its peak at 2:02 am on Friday morning.
The moon will leave the darkest part of the earth’s shadow—called the umbra—at 2:47 am, at which point the eclipse will no longer be visible from earth.
So, will you actually be able to see the eclipse from Vancouver? According to Environment Canada’s forecast, it’s looking good.
This afternoon’s light rain will give way to partially cloudy skies by 10 pm, and only a few clouds are expected to hang in the sky by 1 am.
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If you choose a good night’s sleep over some moon-gazing, you’re going to be out of luck for literally the rest of your life.
According to NASA, the next time that a lunar eclipse will surpass the length of tonight’s is on February 9, 2669.