Can you look at the lunar eclipse
A partial lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth moves between the Sun and Moon but the they don't form a straight line in space. A small part of the Moon's surface is covered by the darkest, central part of the Earth's shadow, called the umbra. The rest of the Moon is covered by the outer part of the Earth's shadow called the penumbra. The moon can also look reddish because Earth's atmosphere absorbs colours and refracts them onto the moon. During a total lunar eclipse, the moon is shining from all the sunrises and sunsets occurring on Earth. The same spot on Earth only gets to see a solar eclipse for a few minutes about every years, according to NASA.
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to Observe a Lunar EclipseContent:
- Watching Lunar Eclipses
- Eclipse 2020: Can you see lunar eclipses with bare eyes? Can you look directly at eclipse?
- Lunar and Solar Eclipses – Dates, Folklores and Facts (2020)
- The What: Eye Safety
- Lunar eclipse guide: What they are, when to see them and where
- Lunar and Solar Eclipses
- What is a partial lunar eclipse and is it safe to look at directly?
Watching Lunar Eclipses
When Earth casts its shadow on the Moon it can cause quite a spectacle. Find out how often these events occur, and where you can view them from over the next ten years. You might be familiar with the idea of a solar eclipse: when the Moon passes in front of the Sun from our point of view on Earth, blocking it out and turning day to night for a few minutes on the surface of our planet.
But what happens during a lunar eclipse, when will the next one occur and how can you see one? A lunar eclipse is what happens when, if you were standing on the Moon, you would see Earth block out the Sun.
It involves the Moon passing directly into Earth's shadow as all three bodies align - just as part of Earth passes into the Moon's shadow during a solar eclipse - and, in so doing, it causes some odd changes in appearance. The good thing about all types of lunar eclipse is that, unlike a solar eclipse, they are safe to view with the naked eye. This is because lunar eclipses only reflect sunlight - they don't get any brighter than a full Moon, which you've probably safely observed many times before.
To get the best view you'll need to be on the night side of Earth when one occurs, and you'll need a clear sky that's free of clouds. No specialist equipment is needed. Try to minimise the light in your vicinity and, ideally, watch from a spot where your line of sight won't be obstructed by tall buildings or trees. A lunar eclipse can last several hours, but the period of totality - when the Moon is completely in Earth's shadow - usually only lasts an hour or so.
A lunar eclipse only occurs during a full Moon, when the Sun, Earth and Moon are all aligned. But despite the Moon only taking This is because the Moon's orbit around Earth is not in a flat plane - it's angled at about five degrees, which means that the Moon often goes above or below Earth's shadow as it orbits around.
As a result, lunar eclipses tend to come in batches when the Moon is at a similar inclination. There were three total lunar eclipses in , for example. A lunar eclipse lasts several hours. The period of totality in a total lunar eclipse, when the Moon turns red, lasts about an hour. There are three types of lunar eclipse: a total lunar eclipse, a penumbral lunar eclipse and a partial lunar eclipse.
To understand the difference between them, we first need to understand how Earth's shadow works. As our planet blocks out the Sun's light, it actually casts two different shadows. One is a larger shadow that extends away from Earth at an angle, known as the penumbra. Directly behind Earth, however, is a darker and narrower shadow, called the umbra. This is when the Moon passes into Earth's umbral shadow, which can result in the Moon turning red.
This is sometimes called a 'blood Moon', although astronomers aren't super keen on that term, which has more roots in astrology.
The Moon turns red during an eclipse because of how the Sun's light interacts with Earth's atmosphere. As it hits the atmosphere, shorter wavelengths of light such as the colour blue are scattered outwards.
Longer wavelengths like red, however, are bent or refracted into Earth's umbra. When these strike the surface of the Moon, they can make it appear red - a similar process to how the sky appears red during a sunrise or sunset. When the Moon passes into the outer shadow, we call this a penumbral lunar eclipse. There aren't many noticeable effects during a penumbral eclipse. The Moon only gets very slightly darker, and it is normally difficult to notice , even with a telescope.
As its name might imply, a partial lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon aren't exactly aligned, so only part of the Moon passes into Earth's umbral shadow and thus only part of it appears red. Some people have different terms for a total lunar eclipse depending on when it occurs. The distance from Earth to the Moon changes from about , kilometres to , kilometres over the course of the Moon's orbit. When the Moon is at its closest, it is slightly larger and brighter in our sky, earning it the moniker of 'supermoon'.
A total lunar eclipse during this time is therefore sometimes called a 'super blood Moon'. On 21 January , however, a total lunar eclipse occurred, unusually, on the first full Moon of the year.
As this is known as a 'wolf Moon', that total lunar eclipse earned itself the nickname 'super blood wolf Moon'. A partial lunar eclipse will be visible from the UK on 16 July , although it might be hard to spot as it will be very close to the horizon.
In there will be four penumbral lunar eclipses over the UK and other locations, although you might struggle to notice them. It's the total lunar eclipses you'll really want to look out for though on these dates:. Other parts of the world will also have a chance to see several additional total lunar eclipses in the coming years. Here's what to look forward to:.
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Why isn't there a lunar eclipse every month? What are the different types of lunar eclipse? What is a total lunar eclipse? National Geographic share their guide to a lunar eclipse:. What is a blood Moon?
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Eclipse 2020: Can you see lunar eclipses with bare eyes? Can you look directly at eclipse?
Solar and lunar eclipses are spectacular sights. The shadow of Earth sweeping across the Moon, illuminating its grey surface in a blood red is breathtaking. But nothing quite compares to watching the Moon slowly eclipse the Sun until the its black disk is set against the ghostly white corona.
When Earth casts its shadow on the Moon it can cause quite a spectacle. Find out how often these events occur, and where you can view them from over the next ten years. You might be familiar with the idea of a solar eclipse: when the Moon passes in front of the Sun from our point of view on Earth, blocking it out and turning day to night for a few minutes on the surface of our planet. But what happens during a lunar eclipse, when will the next one occur and how can you see one? A lunar eclipse is what happens when, if you were standing on the Moon, you would see Earth block out the Sun.
Lunar and Solar Eclipses – Dates, Folklores and Facts (2020)
No part of this eclipse will be visible from North America. Visibility will be confined to central and east Africa, Eastern Europe, western and central Asia, most of Indonesia and Australia. Because at this moment in time the Moon is situated at a distance of , miles from Earth, its disk will appear slightly smaller than the Sun; four-tenths of one percent smaller to be exact. As such, when the Moon passes squarely in front of the Sun, it will not totally cover it, but instead, a narrow ring of sunlight will remain visible. The path of annularity is widest and the ring phase lasts longest at the very beginning and end the sunrise and sunset points respectively, measuring about 50 miles and lasting roughly 80 seconds. The path is considerably narrower and the ring phase is much shorter at the middle of the path. The path starts in central Africa. Then it turns east and finally southeast over China, Taiwan and then out into the Philippine Sea, passing just south of Guam before coming to an end at sunset over the North Pacific Ocean.
The What: Eye Safety
But the eclipse will not peak until after 7pm GMT, when the lunar orb is closest to the centre of the shadow. Staring directly at a solar eclipse without certified filter glasses can be incredibly damaging to your eyes. Even when the Sun is shrouded by the Moon and the skies are deceptively dark, radiation from the Sun can still hit your eyes. Lunar eclipses, on the other hand, are completely safe to look at because the Moon does not glow with its own light. The light you see coming from the Moon is indirect light from the Sun, reflected back at us on Earth.
Four lunar eclipses will appear across Earth's skies in They will all be penumbral eclipses, which means the face of the moon will appear to turn a darker silver color for a few hours. Weather permitting, people across most locations on our planet will catch at least one of the lunar eclipses falling on Jan. There's always a place on Earth where the sun don't shine.
Lunar eclipse guide: What they are, when to see them and where
Find out what a lunar eclipse is and when the next total lunar eclipse in the UK will occur, as well as expert tips on how to see it from astronomers at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. An eclipse of the Moon occurs when the Earth lies directly between the Sun and the Moon and the Moon lies in the shadow of the Earth. For a total lunar eclipse to happen, all three bodies lie in a straight line. During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon usually turns a deep, dark red because it is illuminated by light that has passed through the Earth's atmosphere and has been bent back towards the Moon by refraction.
This illustration shows the Moon passing through Earth's shadow during a typical lunar eclipse. The Moon is slightly tinted when it passes through the light outer portion of the shadow, the penumbra, but turns dark red as it passes through the central portion of the shadow, called the umbra. Solar eclipses result from the Moon blocking the Sun relative to the Earth; thus Earth, Moon and Sun all lie on a line. Lunar eclipses work the same way in a different order: Moon, Earth and Sun all on a line. In this case the Earth's shadow hides the Moon from view. From our perspective on Earth, two types of eclipses occur: lunar, the blocking of the Moon by Earth's shadow, and solar, the obstruction of the Sun by the Moon.
Lunar and Solar Eclipses
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves into the Earth's shadow. A lunar eclipse can occur only on the night of a full moon. The type and length of a lunar eclipse depend on the Moon's proximity to either node of its orbit. During a total lunar eclipse, Earth completely blocks direct sunlight from reaching the Moon. The only light reflected from the lunar surface has been refracted by Earth's atmosphere. This light appears reddish for the same reason that a sunset or sunrise does: the Rayleigh scattering of bluer light.
The first thing to remember about observing an eclipse is safety. A solar eclipse is potentially dangerous, however, because viewing a solar eclipse involves looking at the Sun, which can damage your eyesight. A solar eclipse can be viewed safely with the naked eye only during the few brief seconds or minutes of a total solar eclipse , when the Sun itself is completely obscured by the Moon. Partial eclipses , annular eclipses , and the partial phases of total solar eclipses are never safe to watch without taking special precautions. Failure to use appropriate filtration may result in permanent eye damage or blindness.
What is a partial lunar eclipse and is it safe to look at directly?
You could be forgiven for thinking that America is suddenly experiencing lots of eclipses, but what will happen in the early hours of January 31 will be nothing like August's total solar eclipse in the U. While that event lasted just a few minutes and had to be viewed mostly through special safety glasses, the total lunar eclipse happening on Wednesday will last for hours, and be completely safe to watch. A supermoon is when our satellite is slightly closer to Earth than usual in its orbit, which results in a slightly larger and brighter moon — about 14 percent larger.
A partial lunar eclipse could be visible from the UK on Tuesday 16 July. An eclipse of the Moon occurs when the Earth lies directly between the Sun and the Moon and the Moon lies in the shadow of the Earth. For a total lunar eclipse to happen, all three are in a straight line.