Skywatchers across most of the Americas as well as much of Europe and Africa will have their second opportunity in 2003 to view of one of nature’s most beautiful spectacles: a total eclipse of the moon. The eclipse occurs on a Saturday night, Nov. 8, in the Americas and early on the morning of Nov. 9 in Europe and elsewhere.

VIEWERS ESPECIALLY in the eastern United States, many of whom were stymied by clouds during a sister event May 15, will be given another chance to see the moon immersed completely within Earth’s shadow.

Unlike a total eclipse of the sun, which requires most people to make a long journey to get into the path of totality, total lunar eclipses can usually be observed from one’s own backyard. The passage of the moon through Earth’s shadow is equally visible from all places within the hemisphere where the moon is above the horizon.

Weather permitting, the total phase of the November eclipse will be visible across much of North America, all of South America, as well as all of Europe and Africa.


There is nothing complicated about viewing this celestial spectacle. Unlike an eclipse of the sun, which necessitates special viewing precautions in order to avoid eye damage, an eclipse of the moon is perfectly safe to watch. All you’ll really need are your eyes, but binoculars or a telescope will give a much nicer view.

The eclipse will actually…

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