Penumbral lunar eclipse to coincide with July 4th fireworks

Pablo Tucker
July 3, 2020

However, it must be noted that this time it will not be visible in India. But it could be visible to sharp-eyed sky watchers here in New Jersey and in other areas of North America. At its deepest, the Moon will only be immersed about 35% of the way into the outer penumbral shadow of the Earth.

According to NASA, a lunar eclipse occurs when the earth moves between the sun and the moon.

July 4 full moon and lunar eclipse 2020
A slight lunar eclipse known as a penumbral eclipse will occur late at night on Independence

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

During the penumbral lunar eclipse, the moon might appear darker than a usual Full Moon in North America, South America, and Africa during the maximum phase of this penumbral lunar eclipse. The most concentrated part of that shadow is called the umbra, while the lighter edges of the shadow are called the penumbra. Total eclipses can plunge the moon into a cloak of red. It will look like a foggy darkness over part of the lunar face.

The shaded corner of the moon will be most evident around 12:30 a.m. EDT, just about mid-eclipse, before the moon gradually drifts out of the Earth's shadow.

The year 2020 has already witnessed two penumbral lunar eclipses so far.

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. The first part of the Troika, the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse was observed exactly a month before the scheduled date of the next lunar eclipse, ie., on June 5 that followed an annular solar eclipse on June 21.

Penumbral eclipses are not as exciting because they unfold in the penumbra - a diffuse shadow cast by the Sun and Earth. Some even call it the "Hay Moon" because of the hay harvest. Check your local forecast to see if you will have clear skies. A penumbral eclipse before (left) and during (right). But take heart, total lunar eclipses return to Earth next year with a fine event centered on the Pacific Rim region May 26, 2021. A "buck moon" lunar eclipse is set to occur on the night of July 4 and the morning of July 5, depending on where you're located.

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