There's a full moon, lunar eclipse to go with this weekend's fireworks

The path of the Moon through the shadow of the Earth during this weekend’s eclipse. Credit NASA  GSFC  F. Espenak

It is believed by many in India that one should avoid consuming food during the time the lunar eclipse.

The total duration of the eclipse would be 2 hours, 45 minutes. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon and Sun are on opposite sides of Earth. The moon will pass through the outer part of the earth's shadow.

The slight eclipse, known as a penumbral eclipse, will not be as dramatic as a full lunar eclipse, experts say.

For the unversed, there are three kinds of lunar eclipses: Total lunar eclipse, Partial lunar eclipse and Penumbral lunar eclipse.

As defined by NASA (https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/nasa-knows/what-is-an-eclipse-58), a lunar eclipse occurs when, "The moon moves in an orbit around Earth, and at the same time, Earth orbits the sun".

According to The Farmer's Almanac, the penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible from most of North America, except in the northernmost regions of Canada and Alaska. The outer part of Earth's shadow is the weakest shadow called the penumbra.

The Thunder Moon will be a two-part event - the moonrise and its 'maximum eclipse'.

The view from the Moon north of the Mare Imbrium during this weekend’s eclipse. Credit Stellarium
The view from the Moon north of the Mare Imbrium during this weekend’s eclipse. Credit Stellarium

On the night of July 4-5, 2020, the Full Moon will be hanging out near Jupiter and Saturn from dusk until dawn.

The visibility of upcoming Lunar Eclipse in India depends upon how much of the Moon remains visible during the daytime and for how long, implying that the lunar phenomenon will not be a photographic interest for most, if not all.

"A penumbral eclipse is very subtle".

NASA notes that there will also be a partial penumbral eclipse of the moon. It will be the third of the four penumbral lunar Eclipse of 2020.

Folks across the western US are expected to enjoy the best viewing conditions on Saturday night for watching the lunar eclipse and any firework displays. Male deer, known as bucks, begin to sprout their antlers which is why it is called a Buck Moon. 'It's a cold light and you don't see as well'.

On the night of July 4, the full moon will pass through part of Earth's shadow, creating a lunar eclipse that will be visible across North America and South America.


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