October 12th, 2013 by James Ayre
On the night of Friday October 18, 2013, a penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible to those in Europe, Africa, the Americas, and parts of Asia — with the best show being available to those in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the eastern part of North/South America.
A Penumbral lunar eclipse is when the Moon passes through the “faint” penumbral part of the Earth’s shadow — you can expect to see a notable darkening/reddening of the Moon as it passes through the shadow. The red tint that the Moon possesses during such eclipses is due to the fact that as the Sun’s light is filtered through the Earth’s atmosphere much of the “blue light” is eliminated, leaving only the reddish hues.
Maximum eclipse will occur at exactly 23:51 UTC — with the full-duration of the eclipse being between the times of 21:51 UTC on October 18th and 01:50 UTC on October 19th. At maximum eclipse 76.5% of the Moon’s disk will be in the Earth’s penumbral shadow. Those in the US will be able to catch only the end of the eclipse — when the Moon rises at about 6pm EST the eclipse will already be in progress, as a result those in the US will have a hard time seeing much with the Sun still in the way. Those in Europe and Africa, though, will experience the eclipse during dark late night hours, and will subsequently get a much better show.
The next total lunar eclipse will occur on April 15, 2014, and will be visible from North America.
For more information on the other major astronomical events of the year, see: Astronomy 2013, Comet ISON, Meteor Showers, Lunar Eclipse, Solar Eclipse, Supermoon, Etc.
Image Credit: NASA
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