Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SOLAR SCIENCE
Friday Night's Deep Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
by Staff Writers
Palm Coast FL (SPX) Feb 08, 2017


An astronaut standing on the Moon when it's in the penumbra would see the Sun only partly hidden by Earth but completely covered from locations within the umbra. Not to scale. Image courtesy Sky and Telescope.

Lunar eclipses are enjoyable celestial events that can be seen from a wide geographic area. But we haven't experienced a total lunar blackout since September 2015, and the next one won't come until January 31, 2018. In the meantime, skygazers can enjoy a special kind of lunar eclipse taking place on Friday night, February 10th. Instead of plunging into the dark inner core of Earth's shadow (called the umbra), the Moon will pass deeply into Earth's dusky outer shadow, the penumbra.

Its northern edge will miss the umbra by only about 100 miles (160 km), or 3% of the Moon's diameter. In fact, were the Moon to slide just 27 miles (44 km) closer, the entire lunar disk would briefly lie inside the penumbra.

So a penumbral lunar eclipse is essentially a tease - but this week's will be about the best one possible. Although no portion of the Moon will become really dark, anyone who looks up when the eclipse is near its maximum will easily see the dusky penumbral shading.

Those in eastern North America (and all of South America) can observe the eclipse in its entirety. The farther west you live, however, the lower the Moon will be in the eastern sky. As seen from the Midwest, the eclipse will be at its maximum near or soon after moonrise and sunset; in the Far West, moonrise and sunset don't occur until after the eclipse has peaked. In Europe, Africa, and western Asia, the event takes place early on February 11th, with the Moon high in a dark sky.

What to Look For
Lunar eclipses are slow-motion events. This one lasts nearly 4.5 hours, with its midpoint at 7:44 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (0:44 Universal Time on February 11th). "The outer part of Earth's penumbra is so pale that you won't notice anything until the Moon's edge has slid at least halfway in," cautions Alan MacRobert, a senior editor at Sky and Telescope magazine. "So start looking about 90 minutes before mid-eclipse."

The shading will begin to show on the Moon's left side. In North America, only from the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada will the Moon be well up in time to watch for this. Any haze or thin cloudiness will make seeing this early onset more difficult. With time, the dusky shading will become more prominent, and as mid-eclipse approaches, the lopsidedness of the Moon's illumination will be totally obvious. Watch the shading shift and become more concentrated toward the northern limb, the portion of the Moon that is passing closest to the umbra.

As the Moon rises higher and any remaining twilight fades down, the process runs in reverse. This is the part of the eclipse that most Americans will be able to see best. With luck, a careful observer will be able to detect a trace of shading by eye for about an hour - perhaps a little longer - after mid-eclipse. "You can even use this event to check the acuteness of your visual perception," notes S and T senior editor Kelly Beatty.

For skywatching information and astronomy news, visit SkyandTelescope.com or pick up Sky and Telescope, the essential guide to astronomy since 1941, with subscribers in more than 100 nations. Sky and Telescope and SkyandTelescope.com are divisions of F+W, a content and ecommerce company. F+W also publishes SkyWatch (an annual guide to the night sky) as well as books, star atlases, posters, prints, globes, apps, and other fine astronomy products.


Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Sky and Telescope
Solar Science News at SpaceDaily






Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
SOLAR SCIENCE
Eclipse 2017: NASA Supports a Unique Opportunity for Science in the Shadow
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Feb 07, 2017
The first total solar eclipse in the continental United States in nearly 40 years takes place on Aug. 21, 2017. Beyond providing a brilliant sight in the daytime sky, total solar eclipses provide a rare chance for scientists to collect data only available during eclipses. NASA is funding 11 scientific studies that will take advantage of this opportunity. "When the moon blocks out the sun d ... read more


SOLAR SCIENCE
A new recruit for ESA's astronaut corps

The Outer Space Treaty has been remarkably successful - but is it fit for the modern age?

Full Braking at Alpha Centauri

New Era of Space Travel: Private Station May Replace ISS by Late 2020

SOLAR SCIENCE
Commercial Launch of Proton-M Carrier Rocket Planned For Early April - Roscosmos

India to launch record 104 satellites next week

ISRO tests C25 Cryogenic Upper Stage of GSLV MkIII

Russia to call tender for 2nd Phase of Vostochny Spaceport construction in Fall

SOLAR SCIENCE
UAE Aims to Launch Its First Ever Mars Mission in 2020

Opportunity Takes Advantage of her Location to do a Mini Science Campaign

Swirling spirals at the north pole of Mars

Curiosity rover sharpens paradox of ancient Mars

SOLAR SCIENCE
China looks to Mars, Jupiter exploration

China's first cargo spacecraft to leave factory

China launches commercial rocket mission Kuaizhou-1A

China Space Plan to Develop "Strength and Size"

SOLAR SCIENCE
NASA seeks partnerships with US companies to advance commercial space technologies

An exciting year in space for Intelsat

Iridium Adds Eighth Launch with SpaceX for Satellite Rideshare

Space, Ukrainian-style: Through Crisis to Revival

SOLAR SCIENCE
New beam pattern yields more precise radar, ultrasound imaging

Anatomy of a debris incident

Japan's troubled 'space junk' mission fails

New material that contracts when heated holds great industrial potential

SOLAR SCIENCE
Santa Fe Institute researchers look for life's lower limits

Dedicated Planet Imager Opens Its Eyes to Other Worlds

New planet imager delivers first science at Keck

First footage of a living stylodactylid shrimp filter-feeding at depth of 4826m

SOLAR SCIENCE
New Horizons Refines Course for Next Flyby

It's Never 'Groundhog Day' at Jupiter

Public to Choose Jupiter Picture Sites for NASA Juno

Experiment resolves mystery about wind flows on Jupiter




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement