February 19, 2019

AstroEvent of the Week, February 8th-15th, 2009; A Penumbral Eclipse.



This weeks’ astro-event of the week isn’t exactly a real barn-burner, but is always interesting to note, none the less; a penumbral eclipse of the Moon. This occurs around 14:38 Universal Time on Monday, the 9th of February as seen from the Pacific Rim hemisphere of the planet.

At the mid point of deepest eclipse a light browning or shading of the Full Moon may be seen. A cool method to “observe” this shallow lunar eclipse is to photograph the Moon before it enters the penumbra and then at about mid-eclipse (see above). A definite shading should be seen. Be sure to attempt it only after complete astronomical darkness and when the Moon is high in the sky as seen from your locale, so that low level atmospheric discoloration doesn’t come into play. Good luck!

And that brings us to this weeks’ astro-word of the week, penumbra. This is the faint, indistinct outer rim of any shadow. Unlike the dark, inner umbra, it’s rather faint and diffuse. At the distance of the Moon, the penumbra of the Earth is about 4 times the apparent diameter of the Moon, or about 2 degrees in width.



  1. [...] why bother? Well as we’ve written about previous, it’s a fun and easy experiment to take “before,” “during,” & “after” photos of the Moon during [...]

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