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Moon turns red during longest partial lunar eclipse in nearly 600 years

By Brian Lada, Accuweather.com
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Moon turns red during longest partial lunar eclipse in nearly 600 years
The longest partial lunar eclipse in hundreds of years sets in the early morning sky in New York City on Friday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

The longest partial lunar eclipse in centuries put on an incredible show in the sky early Friday, but to witness the event, onlookers had to give up some and step outside in the middle of the night.

The eclipse fell just short of being considered a total lunar eclipse, with 97% of the moon passing through Earth's dark inner shadow. The entire event lasted a little over six hours, but the pinnacle of the eclipse took place around 4 a.m. EST. The last time that a partial lunar eclipse lasted this long was in 1440.

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Part of the darkened moon appeared red or rusty orange during the height of the eclipse, while the sliver of the moon that was still illuminated by the sun shined bright, giving the appearance of a diamond ring in the sky.

"Just saw it in northern Missouri! Fascinating!" Twitter user Lady Kildragon tweeted at AccuWeather during the middle of the eclipse. "Unfortunately, it's 23 degrees right now."

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It was much warmer for onlookers in Florida, but people such as one Twitter user with the handle, PhotographicFloridian, had to wait for breaks in the clouds for a glimpse of the eclipse.

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The moon was "playing hide and seek in South Florida," PhotographicFloridian tweeted at AccuWeather. This was enough to see part of the eclipse but not the entirety of the event.

A bit of luck was needed across the mid-Atlantic due to a partly cloudy forecast, but fortune favored the photographers that went outside to capture the eclipse in New York City and Washington, D.C.

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Some clouds also streamed over Los Angeles during the eclipse, but it did not prevent the Griffith Observatory from capturing stunning video of the event.

Most of the six-hour eclipse was also visible from South America, Australia, New Zealand and eastern Asia.

It will not be long until the moon once again passes through Earth's shadow, as multiple lunar eclipses are on the docket for 2022.

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Two total lunar eclipses will be visible across North America, weather permitting. The first eclipse is set for May 16, followed by another on Nov. 8.

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