Anchorage

A partial lunar eclipse should be visible through clear skies Thursday evening in Southcentral Alaska

Skies are expected to be mostly clear over Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska providing the opportunity for lunar eclipse viewing Thursday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

A partial lunar eclipse is set to begin Thursday night and should be visible throughout Alaska and the rest of North America.

The event will start around 10:18 p.m. in Alaska, according to Ray Christensen, meteorologist at the Anchorage Weather Service office. It’s set to hit maximum eclipse by midnight and end by 1:47 a.m., he said.

A lunar eclipse occurs when moon the passes through the Earth’s shadow.

Thursday’s eclipse will be near-total, and the moon will take on an orange-red cast from the Earth’s shadow, according to NASA. The eclipse is expected to be the longest partial eclipse in 580 years, lasting almost 3 ½ hours.

Around midnight, the the moon will appear red while in the Earth’s shadow, known as the umbra, according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The red color might be easier to see through binoculars or with a telescope.

“Even in the city I’m sure you can see it, but if you’re out and away from the city, you can get a better view,” Christensen said.

He said the skies are expected to be clear, but bundling up is important — Thursday night temperatures in the area are forecasted between minus 2 degrees and minus 20.

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