15 November 2021, Pittsburgh, PA
If you live in the U.S. Eastern time zone, set your alarm for 3:30am Friday morning to step outside and watch the moon turn pink.
In what will be the longest partial lunar eclipse in 600 years, the moon will reach maximum darkness — and pinkness — at 4:02am EST, best seen from North America, the Pacific and eastern Russia.
Why pink? The Guardian explains, “During a total lunar eclipse, when the moon is in the Earth’s shadow, the only light reaching the moon passes through the Earth’s atmosphere. That produces a red tinge, or a deeper red colour after big dirty volcanic eruptions.”
The eclipse will happen at the same time everywhere (UTC) but local time will differ. In Pittsburgh the eclipse will end just before sunrise and then the moon will set.
|What phase?||When in Universal Time (Zulu time)?||When in Pittsburgh?||When on the West Coast?|
|Penumbral eclipse begins||0602 UTC on 19 Nov||1:02am EST on 19 Nov||10:02pm PST on 18 Nov|
|Partial eclipse begins||0718 UTC||2:18am EST||11:18pm PST on 18 Nov|
|Maximum eclipse||0902 UTC||4:02am EST||1:02am PST on 19 Nov|
|Partial eclipse ends||1047 UTC||5:47am EST||2:47am PST|
|Penumbral ends||1203 UTC||7:03am EST||4:03am PST|
Will we see the moon turn pink in Pittsburgh? Not well, if at all. In this century the 19th of November has been cloudy 75% of the time. Friday’s forecast says sky cover will be 50% at 4am. Check Pittsburgh’s Clear Sky Chart on Thursday 18 Nov before you set your alarm.
Our best chance for seeing this eclipse is to watch it Live at timeanddate.com. I’ll be up at 4am anyway to write this blog. I’ll let you know what I see.
p.p.s. Here’s an interesting factlet from timeanddate.com: “An eclipse never comes alone! A solar eclipse always occurs two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse.” Indeed, there will be a solar eclipse on 4 December 2021 but we’ll have to be in Antarctica to see it.
(photo from Wikimedia Commons, map from NASA.gov)