Watch a lunar eclipse, or at least try

This evening when you leave thanks to some late nights, pause for a moment on the full moon. Do you see anything different? It is subtle, but on Monday (Sunday night if you are on the west coast), the full moon should look a little darker than usual. This is because you are observing a lunar eclipse, an astronomical event, in which the moon falls behind the foggy, outer shadow of the Earth or the penumbra.

Penumbral eclipses are in some cases ineffective, minor, says Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. “It’s not something that’s going to slap you in the face.”

So Sunday night’s eclipse will not be as dramatic as a total lunar eclipse, in which the moon sinks into the dark inner shadow of the Earth, called the ambra, its surface blood turns red. Nor is it as striking as a partial lunar eclipse, in which the moon slides behind part of the umbral shadow and looks as if some space monster bitten a giant cookie.

And it is not as awe-inspiring as a total solar eclipse, in which Amavasya shines in front of the sun, shining a wise, white halo in the daytime sky.

Dr. Feherty said that the penumbral eclipse may still be worth your time, which can give you a chance to test how you are with the night sky. For our ancestors who lived without city lights or roadside, the moon provided the majority of useful light at night. If this ever happened a little, people noticed.

But that realization has been lost partly because our dependence on the brightness of the moon has diminished. Dr. Faherty suggests using the penumbral eclipse to test her senses.

Dr. “Take the lunar challenge,” said Faherty. “Really look at this. Settle into the moonlight and see what it feels like. Can you feel the difference? “

According to, a penumbral eclipse will be seen in North and South America, parts of East Asia, and Australia and the Pacific. It will start around 2:32 pm Eastern time.

According to NASA, the best time to take the lunar challenge would be the “largest eclipse” or 4:43 pm Eastern time, when 83 percent of the full moon is within the Earth’s peninsular shadow.

But if you still haven’t sold out to see the penumbral eclipse, perhaps you can take this nifty fact away from its appearance: it is the precursor to the next total solar eclipse. The pod contains lunar eclipse and solar eclipse celestial peas. Once revealed, another will come two weeks later. And on December 14, Chile and parts of Argentina will have a total solar eclipse.

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