The Full Moon will partially pass through Earth’s shadow this Sunday in a cosmic occurrence called a penumbral eclipse. Unlike a total eclipse, a penumbral eclipse is a more subtle event because they take place in the penumbra – the weaker of Earth’s two shadows. UK-based amateur astronomers will have an opportunity to spot the eclipse in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 5.
When is the lunar eclipse?
This slight dimming of part of the Moon should be difficult or impossible to notice without instrumentation
NASA’s Gordon Johnston
This month’s lunar eclipse will kick-off on July 4 or July 5, depending on where you live.
Here in the UK, the eclipse will take place early on Sunday.
In North and South America, however, the eclipse will start late on Saturday night.
And the eclipse event will also be partially visible from parts of West Europe and even Africa.
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What time is this weekend’s lunar eclipse?
The penumbral eclipse of the Moon is scheduled to last for almost three hours.
The eclipse event will begin at about 4.07am BST (11.07pm EDT) on Sunday.
Maximum eclipse – the point of maximum shadow coverage – is anticipated to occur at 5.29am BST (12.29am EDT).
The celestial spectacle will then be finished at approximately 6.52am BST (1.52am EDT).
However, visibility in the UK will be less than optimal.
Stargazers in London, for example, will see less than 40 minutes of the lunar eclipse.
After the eclipse kicks-off at 4.07am BST, maximum eclipsing for London will then hit at roughly 4.41am BST.
Just four minutes later – 4.45am BST – the Moon will dip below the horizon.
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The rest of the eclipse will take place under the horizon.
The Sun will then rise at about 4.51am BST and set the same day at 9.18pm BST.
However, the eclipsing will be very subtle compared to a total or umbral eclipse.
According to some astronomers, you might not even see the Earth’s shadow without specialist equipment.
Lunar expert at US-based space agency NASA Gordon Johnston said: “The Moon will be close enough to opposite the Sun that its northern edge will pass through the partial shadow of the Earth — called a partial penumbral eclipse.
“Although visible from the Americas, this slight dimming of part of the Moon should be difficult or impossible to notice without instrumentation.
“The Moon will appear full for about three days around the eclipse, from Friday evening into Monday morning, making this a Full Moon weekend.”
The penumbral shadow is a more diffuse shadow that extends out into space on either side of the umbra.
The umbra is darker and narrows down as it extends from our planet.
The next total eclipse partially visible from the UK will be on May 16 2022.
When are the 20202 Full Moons?
These are all of the Full Moons and their names for the year
January 10: Wolf Moon
February 9: Snow Moon
March 9: Worm Moon
April 8: Pink Moon
May 7: Flower Moon
June 5: Strawberry Moon
July 5: Buck Moon
August 3: Sturgeon Moon
September 2: Harvest Moon
October 1: Hunter’s Moon
October 30: Hunter’s Moon
November 30: Beaver Moon
December 30: Cold Moon
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