When to see the lunar eclipse in SoCal – NBC Los Angeles

Starry sky lovers of astronomy can look forward to Thursday when an almost total lunar eclipse can be seen from SoCal.

According to NBC4 meteorologist Belen De Leon, however, the cloud cover can mean that good visibility of the lunar event is restricted.

“The ocean layer is returning this week to bring our temperatures down, and that may reduce visibility west of the mountains,” said De Leon.

Even so, the astronomical event is remarkable – 97% of the moon will be in Earth’s shadow during the height of the solar eclipse, according to Griffith Observatory.

While that means this is still only a partial solar eclipse, it is enough to give the beaver moon a red hue in November, and it is the first lunar eclipse visible in our area since May when we made the total Saw Super Blood Moon Eclipse.

Wednesday starts cloudy and foggy due to the return of the sea layer, but the sun returns in the morning. The same will happen the next night, but the returning ocean layer may limit the visibility for a lunar eclipse in our region on late Thursday evening and early Friday morning. Belen De Leon has the forecast for Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

What causes a lunar eclipse?

According to NASA, this is all due to the moon’s orbits around the earth and the earth around the sun.

Sometimes the earth moves between the moon and the sun while all three celestial objects move around the solar system. In this case, the earth casts a shadow, just like any other object moving in front of a light source.

This shadow has two parts. The darkest, inner part of the shadow, where the sun is directly behind the earth, is called the umbra. The blurred and lighter part of the shadow around the edges is called the penumbra.

Lunar eclipses occur when this dark umbra falls on the surface of the moon as the moon moves in its orbit through space where the earth blocks light from the sun.

Tyler Jankoski

A diagram of a 2019 super moon lunar eclipse.

If everything is properly aligned, the moon and sun will be on exactly opposite sides of our planet, and we will get a total lunar eclipse with the moon completely covered by the umbra.

According to NASA, even during these total eclipses, sunlight filters through the earth’s atmosphere and illuminates the moon in a way that makes it appear red from the bottom of the earth.

But more often we experience a partial lunar eclipse, which means that only part of the moon is covered by the umbra. During these events, the moon appears very dark where it is covered by the earth’s shadow, and what you see depends on where you are on the earth’s surface in relation to the moon and the sun.

According to the Griffith Observatory, the moon’s surface will be 97% covered by Earth’s shadow on Thursday – almost a total solar eclipse, but not entirely – and the moon will appear to be shining copper or red.

How can I see the lunar eclipse?

Experts say that you don’t need special equipment to watch lunar eclipses. Unlike solar eclipses, it’s safe to look at you face to face. Unless you want to take a closer look, you don’t need a telescope any more than you need one to see the moon every other night.

The first visible “bite” from the moon will be visible around 11:19 pm, with the peak eclipse occurring on November 19 at around 1:03 am. On Friday at 2:47 a.m., the solar eclipse is over.

“The solar eclipse will last about six hours, making it the longest partial solar eclipse since February 18, 1440,” said De Leon.


SoCal will experience a partial lunar eclipse on Thursday, November 18th.

“When the sky is clear, the solar eclipse is visible to the naked eye from anywhere in Southern California,” says the Griffith Observatory on its website. “Just go outside and look southwest.”

As for the ocean layer and the resulting clouds, “It might be better to watch this at this higher elevation and also in the deserts where the skies could be clearer,” said De Leon on Wednesday morning.

The observatory will stream the solar eclipse online from November 18 at 10 p.m. to November 19 at 4 a.m.

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