How to Get The Best Look at Next Week's Total Lunar Eclipse

A total lunar eclipse will be visible across North America if skies are clear in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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A total lunar eclipse will be visible if skies are clear in the Chicago area in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Nov. 8, according to the Adler Planetarium.

Unlike a solar eclipse, totality in a lunar eclipse is much longer and can be viewed from a wider area. Additionally, no special viewing equipment is needed for a lunar eclipse, so you can watch the full moon turn red without goggles.

According to the Planetarium, the partial eclipse will begin at 3:09 a.m. local time, with the peak of totality for the Chicago area just before 5 a.m.

Below is a full breakdown of the stages of the total lunar eclipse next Tuesday:

  • Partial lunar eclipse begins - 3:09 a.m.
  • Total lunar eclipse begins - 4:16 a.m.
  • Maximum total lunar eclipse - 4:59 a.m.
  • Total lunar eclipse ends - 5:41 a.m.
  • Moonset - 6:40 a.m.

The partial phase of the eclipse begins when Earth's deep, inner shadow begins to touch the moon. Totality occurs when the shadow covers the moon completely.

During many total lunar eclipses, the moon will turn start to turn red during the partial phase before appearing completely red during totality.

In the Chicago area, the moonset will actually occur prior to the end of the second partial lunar eclipse. If skies aren't clear however, viewing the eclipse will be very difficult, if possible at all.

While the next lunar eclipse that will be visible to the Chicago area won't happen until Friday, March 14, 2025, a visible solar eclipse will happen before then.

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will occur. That eclipse's path of totality will go through southern Illinois and through Indiana, passing just south of Indianapolis.

While the totality of a lunar eclipse can be seen for over an hour, the solar eclipse in 2024 will have a totality of just two minutes and 40 seconds, consistent with the length of totality for most solar eclipses.

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