November 19th “near-total” lunar eclipse

2007 Total Lunar Eclipse. Photo by James Guilford.
2007 Total Lunar Eclipse. The November 19, 2021 eclipse will look much like this at its maximum. Photo by James Guilford

Taking place in the early hours of Friday, November 19 is what we will call a near-total lunar eclipse. When the eclipse reaches its maximum extent, about 97 percent of Moon will be within Earth’s deep umbra shadow. Much of the lunar disk would appear darkly colored but coloration would lighten across Moon’s face until, along one edge,

We say “would appear” because in Hiram, at least, skies are expected to be cloudy and delivering snow rather than views of our Moon’s show! Still, there’s a chance there will be a break in the weather and it’s good to know about these things.

A total lunar eclipse takes place when Moon completely enters the deep umbra of Earth’s cone-shaped shadow in space. The lunar surface is lit only by light that has passed through Earth’s atmosphere, coloring it shades of copper and red. Illustration Credit: NASA / James Guilford

A total lunar eclipse takes place when Earth’s Moon entirely enters the umbra portion of the planet’s shadow. There, lit only by light scattered through Earth’s atmosphere, Moon glows in beautiful colors ranging from deep red to bright copper. Naturally, to ancient peoples, the sight of the Full Moon changing from bright white to blood red caused fear and panic. Today, lunar eclipses are favorite targets for photography, and observations by astronomers. The November 19 event won’t technically be a total lunar eclipse but still well worth seeing!

This image illustrates the passage of Moon through Earth’s shadow the morning of November 19, 2021. When Moon is outside of the shadow, it will be in its Full phase. Entering the thin outer shadow or penumbra, the lunar disk will begin dimming. As it reaches the umbra, pronounced darkening begins and Moon will no longer appear as full. Strongest coloration appears as Moon, or portions of it, move close to the center of the umbra. Image via Fred Espenak.

Timing of the the November 19 eclipse is shown below and is accurate for areas surrounding Akron, Ohio. Those reading this article can get a localized timing table by visiting

Timing of the the November 19 eclipse is shown below and is accurate for areas surrounding Akron, Ohio. Credit:

We began this piece mentioning the unfortunate weather. It appears conditions will be worse to the northeast of Hiram and potentially better to the west and we can thank Lake Effect precipitation for that. So get up and check the skies around 4:00 a.m., if you want to take a chance, or just stay snug in bed. Either way know that a beautiful natural phenomenon is underway high above, happening just as it should, just when it should.

Our next opportunity to see a lunar eclipse? May 15 – 16, 2022, and it will be a total lunar eclipse. Totality will occur around midnight. Let’s hope for better weather chances then!

September 27: Total Lunar Eclipse in “Prime Time”

2007 Total Lunar Eclipse. Photo by James Guilford.
2007 Total Lunar Eclipse

UPDATE: ECLIPSE WATCH EVENT CANCELED: Due to very poor sky conditions we feel must CANCEL tonight’s planned lunar eclipse watch and stargazing event. Forecasts call for occasional breaks in the overcast but their expected rarity and random nature would make for a poor viewing experience. Rain chances increase at about the time when the eclipse reaches maximum. Since the eclipse can be viewed without the use of a telescope, checking the skies for occasional breaks would be wise. Use the eclipse timing chart below to check the sky at critical points. Still want to see the eclipse, even if it’s via computer, tablet, or television? Check this item for resources!

SPECIAL PUBLIC EVENT: VIEWING THE TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE. This public observing event will take place at the Hiram Village playing field, across from the Municipal Building and behind the Hiram Historical Society. Hours are 8:30 to 12:30. There is no fee and no reservations are required. Attendees may come and go at will — see timing chart below. Click here for Google Maps. The Observatory will NOT be open for this event.

During the eclipse we plan to have one or more telescopes available for viewing of the Moon and, as the sky darkens, visible stars, planets, and other wonders of the night sky. This is an outdoor event so visitors should dress accordingly; flashlights will help find the way but please point downward so as not to spoil others’ night vision. Of course, inclement weather or overcast skies will cancel our viewing of the eclipse. Special thanks to Mayor Lou Bertrand and the Village of Hiram for allowing our nighttime use of the playing field.

On the night of September 27, 2015 Earth’s shadow will cross the face of its Moon and viewers across North America will be treated to a total lunar eclipse. We, in Northeastern Ohio, are in luck this time as the entire eclipse will be visible to us and in “prime time” — a marvelous and relatively rare situation! Click here for a printable event flyer.

As the partial phase of the eclipse begins, at 9:07 PM, viewers will see the Full Moon gradually covered by the dark portion of Earth’s shadow. As the Moon moves deeper into shadow it will begin to glow a copper-red until at totality,10:11 PM, Luna will hang colorfully in our star-sprinkled sky. As the eclipse ends, the process reverses until in the wee hours of Monday, the Full Moon will brightly shine again. Click here for a detailed, somewhat technical chart.

If you cannot join us for the public event, use the table below and watch from your back yard — you don’t even need a telescope! All you need is to be able to see the Moon and we’ll all hope for clear skies!

Image: Table showing eclipse timing for September 27, 2015.

Please note that, on the Web and in the media, there may be confusion over the time and date of the eclipse event. The table above is correct for our Northern Ohio location.