Eclipse of the Moon this Week

Penumbral eclipse takes place on Friday night

This Friday, October 18th, the Full Moon will undergo a penumbral lunar eclipse as it passes through the outer region of Earth’s shadow.

During this type of eclipse the Moon will darken slightly, and this can be observed without any special equipment.

Unlike a solar eclipse which may last only a few minutes, a lunar eclipse can last hours and is viewable by anyone on the night-side of Earth. The eclipse will begin at 10:50pm when the Moon begins to enter Earth’s shadow. By 12:50am (then into Saturday morning) the eclipse will be at its greatest, and almost all of the Moon will be slightly darkened by the shadow. The eclipse ends at 2:49am.

“I’ve seen lots of lunar eclipses over the years and I’ve always found them very fascinating to watch,” said David Moore, Editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine. “This Friday is a great opportunity for people all over Ireland to go out and see an eclipse for themselves. The best thing is to look at the Moon before the eclipse starts, so you can see how much darker it gets as the night goes on.”

“We want people to send in their observation reports and photos for publication in our magazine. Email them to observe@astronomy.ie,” said Mr Moore.

More information about the lunar eclipse can be found at www.astronomy.ie

Authors: Aran Islander

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