On New Year’s Eve, it will be amazing to watch the largest total lunar eclipse in nearly 600 years, a total lunar eclipse that scientists say is especially rare due to a conjunction of three celestial events—Saturn, Mars and the Earth.
The new moon is December 31 at 11:12 p.m. ET and the full moon will be exactly 47 minutes later. The blacked-out side of the moon will be visible as the moon is eclipsed by the Earth and Moon’s orbit around it.
The total lunar eclipse will begin on Dec. 31 at 9:05 p.m. ET and will last until 12:49 a.m. ET on Jan. 1.
NASA says you will notice that the Earth will be blocks from the sun and moon and will block out light from the sun. Usually, the sun and moon are on an almost even distance in the sky, but the Earth’s orbit around the sun will carve a different path around the Earth than the moon’s path around the Earth. On New Year’s Eve, there will be a 10.3-degree gap between the Earth and the moon.
Besides that, the moon will not be surrounded by the Earth’s shadow, because of a conjunction of planets that happens in the early part of 2019:
The only other time that such a celestial conjunction has occurred was in 1631, on New Year’s Eve.
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