Today the first penumbral lunar eclipse of the decade will be observed in some parts of the world. On average, such astronomical phenomena occur about twice a year.
According to NASA, the first penumbral lunar eclipse of the decade will last 4 hours, 4 minutes and 34 seconds. But the best time to see it in Spain is at 08:30 PM.
As Euro Weekly News understands, unlike a solar eclipse, where you need eye protection, this is not necessary for a penumbral lunar eclipse.
What is a penumbral lunar eclipse?
A lunar eclipse is an astronomical phenomenon that occurs when the Earth passes directly between the Moon and the Sun, causing the Earth to project and cast a shadow on the Moon.
It’s expected that this evening numerous people throughout Spain and other parts of Europe will observe the moon when it’s at it’s maximum eclipse. It should be noted however, that many penumbral lunar eclipses cannot easily be distinguished from a usual full moon. At a closer look, one may be able to observe the Moon turn a shade darker during the maximum phase of the eclipse.
A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon are imperfectly aligned. In this kind of eclipse, the Earth blocks some of the Sun’s light from directly reaching the surface of the Moon and covers all or part of the Moon with the outer part of its shadow, also known as the penumbra. The penumbra is much fainter than the core of the Earth’s shadow, known as the umbra.
The next penumbral lunar eclipse is expected to occur in June of this year.
Today’s penumbral lunar eclipse also coincides with the first full moon of the year often known as the “Wolf Moon.” The name goes way back to when people used to track the changing seasons by the lunar month as opposed to the solar year. January’s full moon also goes by Old Moon and Ice Moon.