Armagh Observatory and Planetarium reports that, if skies are clear on the morning of 19th November 2021, sky-watchers will witness a partial eclipse of the Moon.

The eclipse begins at 0720 am Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) when the Moon is only 5 deg above the NW horizon. At that time the Pleiades star cluster, otherwise known as the Seven Sisters, will be visible right above the Moon with the bright star Aldebaran off to the left. The eclipse will continue to progress until moonset at 0802am, when more than half of the lunar disk would be in Earth’s shadow.

Viewing of this eclipse presents a challenge because of the Moon’s extremely low altitude as well as the approaching sunrise, yet offers the prospect of impressive vistas of the partially-eclipsed lunar disk viewed against local landmarks. Similar views were enjoyed during the 31st January, 2018 lunar eclipse across the Eastern seaboard of the US.

For best results in spotting the Moon that morning, plan to observe from an elevated location eg the top or side of a hill and a clear NW horizon. From Belfast, this will be in the general direction of Aldergrove and the international airport while from Armagh, prospective eclipse viewers should look in the Moy/Dungannon direction.

The next lunar eclipse visible from NI will occur in May 2022.


Categories: Moon


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