Beaches are closed and fireworks are cancelled this 4th of July, but what about a celestial phenomenon instead? Calling all observers, this week’s Feel Good Friday has everything you need to know about the upcoming penumbral lunar eclipse! If your fireworks display is cancelled because of the coronavirus, rest assured there’s still something in the sky for you to look at this holiday weekend. Have a safe and happy 4th of July!
What is a penumbral lunar eclipse?
An eclipse is when Earth’s shadow hits the moon. A penumbral lunar eclipse happens when Earth is between the sun and a full moon. The event is described as a gradient shadow lining the upper edges of the moon.
Fun fact: We won’t encounter another full moon on the 4th of July until 2031!
What time should I go outside?
For those in the West Coast, the darkest part of the eclipse will occur well after moon-rise (around 9:30 p.m. PDT).
For those in the Midwest, look for it much later in the evening (10:30 p.m. MDT and 11:30 p.m. CDT).
The East Coast will see the deepest part of the eclipse on the morning of July 5 (12:30 a.m. EDT).
How visible will it be?
There are three types of lunar eclipses: a total lunar eclipse, a partial lunar eclipse and a penumbral lunar eclipse. Saturday night’s event will be the latter of the three. If weather permits, this penumbral eclipse may be visible to the naked eye – but grab a pair of binoculars to be sure!
SEE: Summer Activities in Santa Barbara During COVID-19
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