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Longest lunar eclipse in over 500 years could be visible from Iowa early Friday

With the eclipse happening in the middle of the night and cloud cover a potential issue, this lunar eclipse could be a tricky one to see.

DES MOINES, Iowa — For the first time since May 26, a lunar eclipse will be visible in Iowa. But this time around, it may be a little more difficult to see.

The partial eclipse will start around 1 a.m. Friday, peak around 3 a.m. and start to wane between 4:30 and 5 a.m.

Dr. Charlie Nelson with Drake University says if the clouds hold off, it should still be easily visible to the naked eye.

"What you should see is essentially a full moon. Then slowly, the moon moves into the shadow of the Earth," Nelson said.

This eclipse just misses out on "full" classification, as 97% of the moon will be covered by the Earth at its peak.

STREAM: Partial Lunar Eclipse (Nov. 18 & 19, 2021)

Cloud cover will be on the increase after midnight on Friday morning, so you may want to head east to dodge the thickest cloud decks and check out one of the solar system's coolest phenomenons.

Solar eclipses are vastly different from their lunar counterparts and are much harder to achieve.

"In a solar eclipse, it's the shadow of the moon that's cast on the Earth. The shadow of the moon on the Earth is much smaller. You have to be in the right spot at the right time to see it," Nelson said. "The lunar eclipse, on the other hand, anyone who can see the moon can see the eclipse; half of the planet."

The next solar eclipse will happen in April 2024, which will partially be able to be seen from Iowa.

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