ARKLATEX (KSLA) - The longest lunar eclipse in the 21st century is happening this weekend.
According to NASA, the eclipse will last a total of 1 hour and 42 minutes. In comparison, the total lunar eclipse that happened on January 1, 2018 lasted 1 hour and 16 minutes, while the shortest was 4 minutes and 48 seconds in 2015.
Now, the moon will also be in partial eclipse for 3 hours and 55 minutes, again making that the longest the moon will be in partial eclipse until after the year 2020.
A lunar eclipse is when the sun, Earth, and moon line up perfectly in space. This will then cast a shadow of the Earth on the moon's surface.
Now, why is this one so much longer than other eclipses? It is because the moon will be going directly through the central part of Earth's shadow.
Now the bad news is that the lunar eclipse will not visible in North America. If you would want to see it, you would need to travel to South America, Africa, the Middle East, or Central Asia.
People in those areas will also experience the Blood Moon, or when the moon has a reddish tint. This happens because the moon travels through the darkest part of the Earth's shadow and will shine a red tint on the moon.
Now for us here in the United States, Mars will also be at opposition this weekend. For more information and tips on viewing click here.
Although we will not be able to see the lunar eclipse, the moon will be an apogee or the point in which it is furthest from the Earth. This means the moon will look at its smallest to us here on Earth.