Skywatchers have something to look forward to late Sunday night into early Monday morning. A penumbral lunar eclipse will happen, but it may be difficult to see in some parts of the country. The eclipse will occur late November 29 into the early morning hours of November 30. NASA says that the face of the moon will gradually darken over more than four hours.
Lunar eclipses occur when the shadow of the Earth falls over the face of the moon. It only happens when the Earth and the moon align. A penumbral eclipse isn’t as dramatic as a total lunar eclipse. The face of the moon won’t go completely dark during a penumbral eclipse.
Rather, the moon will gradually darken until the maximum eclipse, and then it will gradually lighten again. Some people may not be able to notice the difference at all. The eclipse will start Sunday at 11:32 PM and reached its maximum at 1:42 AM Monday before ending at 3:53 AM. Cloud cover will prevent some parts of the country from being able to view the eclipse.
Something else to look forward to is a solar eclipse, which always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse. The next total solar eclipse will happen on December 14, but it will be only visible from Chile and some parts of Argentina. Some parts of South America, Southwest Africa, and Antarctica will see a partial solar eclipse.
No parts of the United States will be able to see the solar eclipse. It’s worth noting that those who live in the Pacific Northwest won’t get to view another solar eclipse until October 14, 2023, with another occurring on April 8, 2024.