Lunar Eclipse Tonight

lunecl1013

The path of eclipse visibility. Eastern Canada will see the entire event while the rest of Canada and the USA will see moonrise with the eclipse already in progress. Observers in Europe and Africa will also see the entire event, while eastern Asia misses the end because of moonset. Credit: NASA

You may be able to see the eclipse tonight. It’s not a total eclipse and you could easily miss it. This is a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse.

The Penumbral region is the region of the shadow outside of the darkest area, think of it as shaded as opposed to shadowed, if that makes sense. NASA (back open too BTW) has the times to be looking and a nice cartoon (shown above) of where and what portion of the eclipse is visible.

What you will notice is some coloring of the moon.  The coloration change could be rater subtle so this isn’t one of those “ooohhh ahhhh” kinds of things but quite cool none-the-less.

When and Where from NASA:

The last lunar eclipse of the year is a relatively deep penumbral eclipse with a magnitude of 0.7649. It should be easily visible to the naked eye as a dusky shading in the southern half of the Moon. The times of the major phases are listed below.

 

Penumbral Eclipse Begins: 21:50:38 UT
Greatest Eclipse: 23:50:17 UT
Penumbral Eclipse Ends: 01:49:49 UT

 

Note that the beginning and end of a penumbral eclipse are not visible to the eye. In fact, no shading can be detected until about 2/3 of the Moon’s disk is immersed in the penumbra. This would put the period of nominal eclipse visibility from about 23:30 to 00:10 UT. Keep in mind that this is only an estimate. Atmospheric conditions and the observer’s visual acuity are important factors to consider. An interesting exercise is to note when penumbral shading is first and last seen.