Some observers fear they will not see it due to cloud, but the lunar eclipse is the longest in nearly 600 years
Longest partial lunar eclipse in nearly 600 years: When to watch
The total eclipse of the moon will be visible across much of northern and eastern Europe, eastern Asia, western Australia and New Zealand beginning early on Tuesday morning.
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The eclipse will be the longest in about 600 years, with the last eclipse lasting for 3 hours and 40 minutes in 1592. It will be visible from the eastern United States and eastern Canada, including New York, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto and Montreal.
North America will see the second half of the eclipse and when the moon first appears as if in shadow from Earth.
Central and eastern Europe, eastern Asia, western Australia and New Zealand will begin to see the moon’s red hue shortly after midnight, according to the US space agency Nasa.
In this still from a Nasa video, the moon rises behind the city skyline over Prague, Czech Republic. Photograph: AP
The moon will be directly under the shadow of Earth, Earth’s shadow blocks the sun’s rays, causing the moon to appear red. The moon is considered to be completely blocked from the sun when the time the Earth has shadowed the sun for at least 14 consecutive minutes in a total eclipse.
A map shows where to see the eclipse, as the moon appears in the upper left hand corner. Photograph: NASA/AFP/Getty Images
While this shadow eclipses the moon’s disk, the umbra, the inner part of the shadow, is so small that the lunar surface appears completely dark, casting a dark hue of hues of orange, red, brown and even a reddish halo of light over the western hemisphere.
A maximum of two minutes of darkness occurs as the moon makes its final approach to the shadow of Earth in the southern hemisphere, giving those in the dark regions the best view of the total eclipse.
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Totality – the time the moon is completely covered by the Earth’s shadow – lasts another three hours in the northern hemisphere and eight minutes in the southeastern hemisphere.
A total lunar eclipse happens only about once a year on average, but a partial eclipse is observed all the time because the sun, Earth and moon are in harmony and there is never an eclipse with totality.
A partial eclipse is regarded as no different than a normal full moon, as it does not drop from the sky to form a penumbral lunar eclipse, the next one not expected until 2040.