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Photos | Longest near-total lunar eclipse happened overnight; Here's what viewers in Kentucky saw

Look up overnight Thursday and very early Friday as the moon slips behind the Earth's shadow.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The longest partial lunar eclipse in nearly 600 years, and the longest anyone will see for another 600, happened Thursday night into Friday morning across the U.S. This full moon is also called a Beaver Moon.

Including the start and end of the penumbral eclipse (the earth's faint outer shadow), the total duration lasted 6 hours and 2 minutes. 

Fun fact, according to Earthsky.org the last time a lunar eclipse was this long, the Incas were building Machu Picchu in Peru on February 18, 1440.

The partial eclipse itself lasted about 3 hours and 30 minutes. According to the Halcomb Observatory in Indianapolis, this is the longest partial eclipse in 580 years.

The moon slowly started to darken at 1:02 a.m., and the eclipse wrapped up at 7:03 a.m.

See viewer photos of the eclipse:

The partial eclipse (the moon noticeably turning darker) started at 2:18 a.m. and peaked at 4:02 a.m. The partial eclipse ended at 5:47 a.m.

According to EarthSky.org, the moon is will be at its farthest point from the earth this month and is the reason for the long eclipse. It will take longer for the moon to slip into and out of the earth's shadow. 

The next time a partial lunar eclipse this long will take place is on February 8, 2669, according to EarthSky.org.

If you missed this eclipse, don't worry. A total lunar eclipse lasting over five hours will take place May 15 and 16, 2022.

Contact meteorologist Chelsea Smith at csmith@whas11.com. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter (@ChelseaSmithWX).

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