October 19, 2021
See The Lunar Eclipse in Montréal on November 19
Back in June, Montréal witnessed a partial solar eclipse, where the Moon blocked out part of the Sun starting in the early hours of the morning.
Welp, the Cosmic Ballet goes on. Again.
This time, we'll see a partial lunar eclipse, as the Earth's shadow blocks out the Moon.
What Will Happen?
Starting around 2:00 AM ET in Montréal, the Full Moon will begin to pass into the shadow of the Earth.
Over about 4 hours, the Moon will get dimmer, become a darkish red colour, then return to brightness and it's usual white-grey colour. It should look something like this, if it's clear:
How to Watch It?
Unlike a solar eclipse – where you need special safety glasses – you don't need anything to watch the lunar eclipse!
Got a pair of binoculars? Take them out and get a closer look! It's safe to do so.
Got a telescope? Again, no special equipment necessary for safe viewing.
Yeah, the time on this ain't the most convenient. It will happen early, but this astronomical event is rare enough that I think you should lose a bit of sleep to catch it.
Here's a timeline of the major events that I think the casual person will enjoy:
Moon starts getting visibly blocked by Earth's shadow. The shadow will first appear at the "top", or 12 o'clock position, of the Moon.
Moon starts noticeably appearing reddish-orange.
Maximum eclipse. This is the darkest and most red it will appear.
After maximum eclipse at 4:02 AM, the reverse of the process happens. The Moon will get less red and less of it will appear into shadow.
For the casual observer, I wouldn't blame you if you headed back to bed around 4:15 AM after taking a few moments to appreciate the Moon's odd colour.
I Want it All
Yeah, OK! In that case, you'll basically be up all night, young buck.
Where to Watch?
Good news all-around: this is a super accessible event to watch.
You don't need to head out of the city into a dark sky area to watch it. This is visible even in a light-polluted city like Montréal.
You will also be able to see it from your home: the Moon will be high in the Southwest sky at the start of the eclipse. So long as you don't have any tall buildings blocking your way, you should be good to watch this anywhere in the city.
At 4:02 AM, maximum eclipse, the Moon will appear lower in the sky in the West. But it should still be high enough to not be blocked by trees or buildings.
Near the end of the eclipse, it'll be closer to the Western horizon. You might have to head to higher ground to have a clear view.
Recommended Montréal Photo Spots
I've done some research for a few spots around the Plateau that might be good for photos. These are estimates, but pretty close, though I have increased the size of the Moon in some of these.
For each one, I'v made a dedicated page with a map and direction to face during maximum eclipse. Got a suggestion? Let me know!
Leonard Cohen Mural
Tam Tams Statue
St Michael's Church
McGill Ghetto / Mont-Royal Cross
I Don't Live in Montréal?
If you live in North America, you have a great chance of seeing this eclipse. The times for you will be different than Montreal's, though.
And if we miss it, we'll see another lunar eclipse on May 15-16 next year.