The lunar eclipse is almost here! On the night of Friday October 18, 2013, a penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible in the night’s sky to those in Europe, Africa, parts of the Americas, and parts of Asia.
Those in Europe, Africa, and the Near-East will get the best show, as the eclipse will peak during the dark late-night hours. Those in the Americas can still see the eclipse, but given that it will still be comparatively light during the hours that the eclipse peaks, they won’t be able to see as much/as clearly.
Maximum eclipse will be occurring exactly at 23:51 UTC, with the full timespan of the eclipse being from about 21:51 UTC on October 18th until around 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.”
For a bit of background: “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.”
Looking to the future, this will be the last notable lunar eclipse for awhile, the next significant lunar eclipse — a total lunar eclipse — will be occurring on April 15, 2014, and will be clearly visible to those in North America.
For information on all of the other great astronomical events of the year, see: Astronomy 2013, Comet ISON, Geminids, Lunar Eclipse, Leonids, Solar Eclipse, Super Venus, Etc.
Image Credit: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse via Flickr CC; NASA