Ireland's penumbral eclipse on January 10 is the first of several notable lunar events this year
Ireland’s first full moon of 2020 happens tonight, January 10, and will be coinciding with a lunar eclipse, a penumbral eclipse, that will be visible over Europe, Africa, Asia, Alaska, and Australia overnight.
Time and Date explains: “In order for a penumbral eclipse to occur, the Moon must be in the Full Moon phase, and the Sun, Earth, and Moon must be nearly aligned, but not as closely aligned as during a partial eclipse.
“When this happens, the Earth blocks some of the Sun's light from directly reaching the Moon's surface and covers all or part of the Moon with the outer part of its shadow, also known as the penumbra.
“Since the penumbra is much fainter than the dark core of the Earth's shadow, the umbra, a penumbral eclipse of the Moon is often difficult to tell apart from a normal Full Moon.”
Time and Date adds: “Unlike solar eclipses, which can only be seen along a narrow path from a small part of the Earth, eclipses of the Moon can be observed all across the night side of Earth when the eclipse happens.
“About one in three of all lunar eclipses are penumbral. It is impossible to observe the start and end of a penumbral lunar eclipse, even with telescopes.
“Penumbral eclipses that involve the darker portion of the Earth's penumbral shadow, however, are normally visible to the naked eye. Careful observers can usually see penumbral eclipses with a penumbral magnitude greater than 0.60.”
Unfortunately, a partly cloudy forecast is predicted for tonight in Ireland, so viewing conditions may not be the best.
Here’s the timeline for tonight’s penumbral eclipse over Ireland, according to Time and Date:
5:07 pm: Penumbral Eclipse begins
The Earth's penumbra start touching the Moon's face. Moon close to horizon, so make sure you have free sight to East-northeast.
7:10 pm: Maximum Eclipse
Moon is closest to the center of the shadow.
9:12 pm: Penumbral Eclipse ends
The Earth's penumbra ends.
Don’t worry if you can’t catch tonight’s penumbral lunar eclipse over Ireland tonight as there will be a few more in the coming year. According to Time and Date, here are all of the notable lunar happenings in Ireland this year:
- Penumbral Lunar Eclipse visible in Dublin on Jan 10
- Super Full Moon: Mar 9
- Micro New Moon: Mar 24
- Super Full Moon: Apr 8
- Penumbral Lunar Eclipse visible in Dublin on Jun 5
- Penumbral Lunar Eclipse visible in Dublin on Jul 5
- Black Moon: Aug 19 (third New Moon in a season with four New Moons)
- Micro Full Moon: Oct 1
- Super New Moon: Oct 16
- Blue Moon: Oct 31 (second Full Moon in single calendar month)
- Micro Full Moon: Oct 31
- Super New Moon: Nov 15
- Penumbral Lunar Eclipse visible in Dublin on Nov 30
Stargazers all around the world can tune in to Slooh’s live video feed of tonight’s penumbral eclipse, which will begin airing at 2:30 EST:
Will you be watching out for the penumbral lunar eclipse tonight? Let us know in the comments!