Luckily for us all, the Universe is not stingy with us when it comes to showcasing its beauties on the night sky. Equip your human view with an efficient telescope, and the outcome can be truly fabulous. But in the case of the upcoming penumbral eclipse of the Moon from July, you won’t need any technical help. The naked eye is fully capable of admiring the phenomenon.
This year on the 5th of July, the world will be witnessing a penumbral eclipse of our Moon. 2020 is generous with us in terms of astronomical events, as it’s offering now the third penumbral lunar eclipses.
It lasts for almost three hours
The upcoming penumbral lunar eclipse is usually hard to differentiate from a normal full moon. The total duration of the eclipse from July 5th will be 2 hours and 45 minutes.
The 5th July Lunar Eclipse can be seen from South/West Europe, parts of North America, parts of Africa, South America, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Pacific, and even Antarctica if by any chance you’re living there.
What is a penumbral eclipse
Penumbral eclipses occur when the Moon is passing through the weakest shadow of the Earth, and that is the penumbra. NASA provides some extra explanations:
“Earth’s penumbral shadow forms a diverging cone that expands into space in the anti-solar direction.
From within this zone, Earth blocks part but not the entire disk of the Sun.
Thus, some fraction of the Sun’s direct rays continues to reach the most deeply eclipsed parts of the Moon during a penumbral eclipse.”
The Moon is one of our faithful cosmic companions, and we surely don’t know what we would do without it. Our natural satellites causes tides and moderates our planet’s wobble on its axis, which leads to a relatively stable climate. Without the Moon, life on Earth surely would have been a lot different or even totally absent.