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Total eclipse of the century: longest partial lunar eclipse in 600 years visible in Austin on Friday

The moon will be visible for all of North America and parts of South America. (Holcomb Observatory/Twitter)

Set your alarms for the wee hours on Friday if you want to see the longest partial lunar eclipse in almost 600 years.

All of North America will be able to see the eclipse, in which the moon will partially pass into the Earth's shadow and illuminate it red. Austinites will be able to view the eclipse from midnight to 6 a.m., with peak visibility falling around 3:02 a.m., on Friday.

The eclipse will be the final one of the year and the longest in 580 years, according to NASA. Around 97% of the moon will fall into the shadow, resulting in a sliver of silver moon and a dimmed reddish color that is expected to appear later on the rest of the moon's surface.

A projection of what the moon will look like at 3:02 a.m. CT. (

"Partial lunar eclipses might not be quite as spectacular as total lunar eclipses – where the Moon is completely covered in Earth's shadow – but they occur more frequently," NASA said in a release. "That just means more opportunities to witness little changes in our solar system that sometimes occur right before our eyes."

Unlike a solar eclipse, lunar eclipses are safe to view with the naked eye and you'll likely be able to see it without a telescope. Still, a pair of binoculars might aid your view.

You might also want to bundle up if you're planning to observe—temperatures in the Austin area are projected to be in the upper 30s and lower 40s early Friday morning.

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