Blink and you missed it! Partial lunar eclipse spotted over Minnesota


The first of two lunar eclipses visible in the U.S. this year happened this morning, but Minnesotans had to have a keen eye to catch it.

USA Today reports that the total phase of the eclipse lasted only about five minutes – the shortest lunar eclipse of the century.

The eclipse happened just before 7 a.m. Central Time, with Minnesotans seeing the majority of the moon covered by Earth's shadow from the sun, turning it into a blood red, with the uncovered part tinged with pink.

For the best capture we've seen this morning, check out this picture of the moon over Minneapolis from photographer Jim Gallop.

The view of the eclipse varied across the country, notes, because the moon was setting as it took place, with those on the West coast getting a much better view than those on the East coast.

The total eclipse was visible to those living in eastern Australia, Oceania and western North America, with the rest of the United States seeing a partial eclipse.

FOX 9 reports that it reached around 95 percent coverage in Minnesota as the moon set.

The next chance for stargazers to catch a lunar eclipse this year will be Sept. 28.

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Lunar eclipse early Saturday morning

It's an event that won't last long, and you'll need to get an early start, but onlookers can catch a lunar eclipse Saturday morning. The best times for viewing are between 6:45 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

Partial solar eclipse at sunset Sunday

Viewers in parts of the South and West might get a better view, but a partial eclipse of the sun will be visible -- weather permitting -- in Minnesota beginning after 7 p.m. Sunday until it sets at roughly 8:40 p.m. But don't look directly at it! Columnist and local amateur astronomer Mike Lynch has a helpful diagram of how to watch the event using the pinhole projection method.