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Look up at tonight's lunar eclipse

Moon
Adventures of KM& G-Morris
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The Earth's shadow will cover 97 percent of the visible moon tonight.

Those looking up at the night sky early in the morning on Nov. 19 could see a lunar eclipse.

Jasper Halekas, University of Iowa associate professor in physics and astronomy, said it will almost be a complete eclipse.

"Ninety-seven percent of the visible part of the moon will be covered by the shadow of the Earth, so there will just be a tiny, little sliver around the edge which is still illuminated by the sun and then all the rest of it will be shadowed by the Earth," he said.

Halekas said it will also be one of the longest eclipses in the last couple of hundred years.

"The whole process will take several hours," he said. "You’ll start to see a shadow of the Earth cross part of the moon a little after 1 a.m. here in Iowa time. And the time at which it’s most covered, when it’s 97 percent covered by the shadow of the Earth, will be 3 a.m."

The National Weather Service says skies across the state will be mostly clear overnight, with lows in the upper teens to 20s.

Catherine Wheeler is Iowa Public Radio's All Things Considered host and a reporter.