July’s penumbral lunar eclipse is the first of many celestial events to come throughout the month and perhaps one of the most noteworthy. This interesting event happening on the 4th of July is not only a wonderful coincidence but perhaps a sign that there are good things to come.
According to Accuweather, this lunar eclipse will be visible in many areas across the world including the United States which will be a great treat for us all. It will begin on July 4th around 11:07 PM EDT and will last for well into the early morning hours it seems. While the best viewing time will be around midnight or just after midnight, you’re likely going to get a good view regardless if you’re willing to pop out every so often throughout the night.
Now, for those wondering a penumbral lunar eclipse is something that happens when only the outer shadow of our planet Earth falls on the moon. This meaning our penumbra covers the moon’s face but is only slightly covering it which means it will be more dulled out rather than entirely gone. While that might not be as mind-blowing as a ring of fire solar eclipse but it is still a great sight well worth checking out.
Earth Sky wrote as follows on penumbral lunar eclipses breaking down what they are and how frequent we see them:
In a penumbral lunar eclipse, only the more diffuse outer shadow of Earth – the penumbra – falls on the moon’s face. This third kind of lunar eclipse is much more subtle, and much more difficult to observe, than either a total or partial eclipse of the moon. There is never a dark bite taken out of the moon, as in a partial eclipse. The eclipse never progresses to reach the dramatic minutes of totality. At best, at mid-eclipse, very observant people will notice a dark shading on the moon’s face. Others will look and notice nothing at all.
According to eclipse expert Fred Espenak, about 35% of all eclipses are penumbral. Another 30% are partial eclipses, where it appears as if a dark bite has been taken out of the moon. And the final 35% go all the way to becoming total eclipses of the moon, a beautiful natural event.
From here July is going to be a wonderful month full of meteors and so much more. We have a double meteor shower towards the end of the month and will be able to see several planets throughout. While not everyone likes to look up at the sky, if you do you’re in luck. The more you try to find in the night sky during July the more you will end up seeing, that much is for sure.
To learn more about this penumbral lunar eclipse take a look at the video below. Will you be taking the time to view? I know I will without a doubt in my mind. This month we’re about to face is going to be intense and I am beyond ready for it. It seems the night sky of July is going to be well worth keeping your eyes on.