The longest lunar eclipse of the century will be tomorrow: where and when to see it in Italy

A ‘ record-breaking lunar eclipse : the one that will take place tomorrow, Friday 19 November , will be the longest of the century (exceeding even that of July 2018) . Indeed, to be honest it is the longest in a few centuries now, if we consider it limited to the other partial eclipses: to be precise we are talking about a record relative to the last ones 580 years.

As anticipated, it will not be a total eclipse, but a partial one – although almost complete: our planet will indeed cast its shadow on our satellite obscuring the 97% of the lunar disk (the peak of the phenomenon is expected for hours 10 in the morning around here), and thus making it appear reddish.

According to the estimates communicated by NASA, the partial lunar eclipse will last a total of 3 hours, 28 minutes and 23 seconds : the longest time ever between eclipses that have occurred since 2001 until today, and also among those that will occur from today until 2100. For the next 8 decades, NASA expects others 179 eclipse, with an average of two per year: all shorter than the one arriving tomorrow, 19 November. The next lunar eclipse will then occur on 14 May 2022, and there won’t be a longer one before 2100 .


The show, it must be said, in Italy will not be as noticeable as in other parts of the world (the luckiest areas, in this sense, will be those of North America and the Pacific Ocean), and indeed it will be really difficult to be able to see it.

First of all, here the phenomenon will take place in the morning sky , taking place in the three hours that go from 7 to 10 in the morning : and this will already compromise its visibility, which moreover risks being further spoiled by unfavorable weather conditions – an element that varies obviously depending on the area.

Movie of the “NEAR TOTAL ECLIPSE.” LONGEST PARTIAL LUNAR ECLIPSE in 339 years occurs on morning of November 19 th. 1st parts of the eclipse begin at 1: AM EST. Max eclipse occurs at 4: 02 AM when 97% of MOON in darkest part of Earth’s shadow.

– Holcomb Observatory (@holcombobserv) November 13, 2021

Furthermore, this long eclipse will not be observable in its fullness in Europe, where the Moon will set before the eclipse ends. And indeed: in Italy some regions will not be able to assist you , with the South completely cut off. It will in fact be possible to see it only in Liguria, Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige and finally also in some areas of Sardinia and Tuscany.

The favored regions to try to intercept the eclipse are those of north-western Italy as explained by the Italian Amateur Astronomers Union (UAI), and the only window to have some concrete chance of seeing something is the very first, that is the entry of the Moon into the penumbra thrown by the Earth which will occur at 7: 02 Italian tomorrow, Friday 19 November .

When the phenomenon will reach its “centrality” , i.e. the moment of maximum expression, in Italy will be late morning (le 10: 04) and the Moon, as mentioned, will have already set by then. Finally, it is worth specifying that by virtue of what has already been said, despite the lunar eclipse instinctively evoking nocturnal scenarios, there will be nothing to see neither this evening nor the next: everything, with us, will take place in the morning hours. Below we report the various phases of the eclipse associated with the respective Italian times .


  • 07: 02 : the Moon enters the penumbra
  • 08: 18 : start of the eclipse (first contact)
  • 10: 04 : centrality of the eclipse
  • 11: 47 : end of the eclipse (last contact)
  • 13: 03 : the Moon comes out of the penumbra


There is one last noteworthy element of this partial lunar eclipse. Or rather, of “ microluna” (or “miniluna”): our satellite in fact own in the course of the phenomenon will be found almost at the apogee – that will reach during the night between 20 and the 21 November -, or maximum distance from Earth . Going even more specifically, the Moon will touch the apogee , with a distance from the Earth of 406. 275 km, at 3 hours: 15 of the 21 November .

For this reason, if you can see or photograph it, in the morning before it disappears beyond the horizon or more comfortably in the night between Saturday and Sunday, you will notice that the lunar disk will appear smaller than usual : the difference between the maximum diameter (that of the “supermoon”, when the satellite is instead at the perigee) and the minimum diameter of the Moon is approximately equal to 14%.

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