The Great American Eclipse returned to the United States on Monday, July 20. But viewers have been treated to a lunar eclipse tonight and tomorrow night, which could be the longest one for almost 600 years.
If you want to see the totality of an eclipse, you’ll need clear skies and time between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.
The moon was 100 times as far away from the sun as the sun will be from you for the duration of the eclipse. For those not nearby the moon, it was 88 times as far away.
“Lunar eclipses are like Super Bowls – you’ve got to see one. You have to see the longest possible amount of time for totality to occur. There are no other steps along that path that you can do, no other way to capture that with a camera,” said Joshua Weitzner, a 34-year-old software engineer living in Chicago.
Unlike the eclipse seen on July 20, the one on Tuesday won’t be visible to the naked eye. Instead, you’ll need a telescope to watch, said Liana Perlis, a 25-year-old student at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
To see it, Perlis picked up a cheap mirror telescope on the street and has been watching it with the aurora borealis.
Lunar eclipses, like solar eclipses, occur when the moon passes through the shadow of the earth.
This one, however, will be the longest lunar eclipse for nearly 600 years, according to NASA.
The total eclipse on Wednesday evening is expected to last for about three hours. The partial eclipse that followed Wednesday night will last about two and a half hours.
NASA called it “an especially spectacular lunar show.