A lunar eclipse on Friday night will be especially fun to watch thanks to the full moon that will arrive on the same night.
The event is known as a penumbral lunar eclipse because only the incomplete outer portion of the Earth’s shadow, or penumbra, falls across the moon.
The lunar eclipse is expected to reach its deepest point at 7:50 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 18.
Unlike a total eclipse of the moon, in which Earth’s umbra darkens the moon entirely, the penumbral lunar eclipse provides only for a slight dimming. After these events we often hear people asking “what happened to the moon last night” and that question is raised for good reason. The event provides for a shadow on the lower half of the full moon (pictured above), which is not typically seen during a regular moon cycle.
If you live in the eastern part of North America and weather is permitting, you should be able to see the end of the eclipse. However, viewers in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, will have the best view of the event. In those parts of the world the celestial phenomenon will be observable during the overnight hours.
The penumbral lunar eclipse will last between 9:51 p.m and 1:50 a.m. GMT..
The lunar eclipse will unfortunately occur during daylight hours for people on the West Coast.
If you miss the penumbral lunar eclipse on Friday fret not! There is another eclipse scheduled for April 2014.
Here is a map that showcases the visibility times for Friday’s lunar event:
Will you be sky watching during Friday’s lunar eclipse event? Do you prefer a total eclipse of the moon or something a bit more penumbral?