Seeing the Moon on our night sky is a wonderful sight not only because it’s the brightest cosmic object that could be observed with the naked eye. We should be thankful for having the Moon so close to us because our natural satellite has allowed life on Earth to evolve the way it did until now. The presence of the Moon moderates our planet’s wobble on its axis, it causes tides, and more.
But delighting your view with a lunar eclipse can be even more interesting than to see the cosmic object in its usual state.
Less than a week left
The next lunar eclipse is a penumbral eclipse that’s expected to happen this Friday night on June 5. The event will begin at 6:45 PM BST, but there’s no use to rush to your window at that exact time. The eclipse will last for three hours, so you’ll have plenty of time to spot it.
What is a penumbral eclipse
A penumbral eclipse is different and less spectacular than a partial and a total eclipse. Penumbral eclipses occur when the Moon is passing through the Earth’s weakest shadow, which is the penumbra. NASA comes with some simple explanations:
“Earth’s penumbral shadow forms a diverging cone that expands into space in the anti-solar direction.
“From within this zone, Earth blocks part but not the entire disk of the Sun.
“Thus, some fraction of the Sun’s direct rays continues to reach the most deeply eclipsed parts of the Moon during a penumbral eclipse.”
There you have it, the next lunar eclipse is coming fast and will dominate the sky in less than a week, so you better prepare your binoculars and rub the dust away from them.
Luckily for us, the Moon will remain at its place for a long time from now. Located at 384,400 km from Earth, you could fill this gap with both Jupiter and Saturn, the first two biggest planets from our Solar System.
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.