Nov. 19 is the last chance this year to see a partial – although nearly total – lunar eclipse.
To view it involves being up early in the morning. And there's a chance clouds will block it out. But there is a way to see it from indoors. (And it's not, "Look out the window or through the skylight.") More about that in a minute.
The eclipse will begin at 1:02 a.m. Friday (local Eastern Standard Time), when the outside edge of the Earth's shadow touches the edge of the moon. About an hour later (2:18 a.m.) the moon will begin to take on a red shade as it moves closer to the center of the Earth's shadow.
The maximum eclipse will occur at 4:02 a.m., when about 97% of the moon's surface will be covered by the Earth's shadow. At that point, the Moon will be almost directly west, and about 36 degrees above the horizon.
The partial eclipse will end at 5:47 a.m.
For what it's worth, the extended forecast for Lakeland area weather is "rain late; overcast" for Thursday the 18th, and for Friday, the morning of the eclipse, "showers early; decreasing cloudiness."
Keep in mind that this is Florida, where it is not wise to make long-range weather forecasts and barely advisable to make short-range ones.
If you want to stay indoors, or if clouds are overhead, there is a computer option. YouTube will be carrying a live feed of the moon. The website can be found at www.tinyurl.com/LunarNov19.
The website also advises that this is the longest eclipse of the century.
How's that for a heads-up?
Lonnie Brown can be reached at LedgerDatabase@aol.com.
This article originally appeared on The Ledger: Next week's lunar eclipse will be early in the morning, and might be cloudy