East of the Mississippi River, the eclipse will be interrupted by sunrise. People can see only a partial eclipse. West of the Mississippi River, people can see the whole thing, including totality. “Totality” is when the moon is fully inside Earth’s shadow. Some total eclipses last for more than an hour. In this case, however, totality spans just 4 minutes and 43 seconds-a result of the fact that the moon is skimming the outskirts of Earth’s shadow rather than passing centrally through it. Read more on.. News Archive: Total Eclipse of the Moon.