Penumbral Lunar Eclipse to Darken the Moon After July Fourth Fireworks

July 3, 2020

Many Americans will look skyward for the spectacle of fireworks during this Saturday night’s Fourth of July celebration. It will be a celebration of America’s independence at a point in history like no other.

Meanwhile, there will be a lunar spectacle to enjoy on that very same night in that very same night sky!

The full moon will pass through Earth’s outer shadow, called the penumbra, partially darkening a corner of the lunar surface and causing what is called a penumbral lunar eclipse.

The eclipse will be visible in North America and South America, as well as in some parts of western Europe and Africa. It will be the first lunar eclipse visible in this part of the world since 2019.

The Moon will begin darkening at 11:07 p.m. EST; the eclipse will look its best at around 12:30 a.m.; and the celestial event will conclude at 1:52 a.m. on July 5th.

Weather permitting, the eclipse should be visible without the use of a telescope for skygazers of all ages, AccuWeather reports.

Notably, penumbral lunar eclipses such as this one aren’t as pronounced as the two other possible types: partial lunar eclipses and total lunar eclipses.

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