5 things to know about tonight’s lunar eclipse

An extra-special reason to stare at the moon.
An extra-special reason to stare at the moon.
Image: Reuters/Tim Chong
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The 21st century’s longest lunar eclipse, lasting 1 hour and 43 minutes, is coming tonight (July 27), as the moon passes through the center of the Earth’s shadow. Here are some key facts:

1. Who will be able to see the lunar eclipse

Stargazers in Australia, Indonesia, and other eastern regions can see it as the moon sets, while those in Europe, western Africa, and South America can see it when it rises. Find the exact time in your time zone by entering your location here. In the US, where the event will not be visible, you can watch a Weather Channel live stream starting at 4pm Eastern Time.

2. Don’t bother taking photos of it with your phone

From a technical point of view, phones aren’t capable of producing great images of a lunar eclipse. All you’ll get is a still dark image with a vastly over-exposed moon. So save yourself the technical tinkering and just enjoy.

3. There’s a perfect Spotify playlist for watching it

We’ve put together the perfect playlist for moongazing. Head to your nearest rooftop or backyard, crack open a beer, and bask in some of the best moon-inspired tunes Earth has produced.

4. The bloody hue of a lunar eclipse used be seen as disconcerting—and extremely meaningful

The moon lights up the night sky on a regular schedule, and provides relief through the darkest hours. It’s no surprise, then, that the red glow of a lunar eclipse used to utterly terrify humans.

5. You should look at the moon every night—not just during a lunar eclipse

All of us can enjoy the moon every night, and it’s always awesome, whether it’s a sliver or full and bright. The thrill of a lunar eclipse only highlights the fact that we ignore the everyday wonders that surround us all the time.