If the weather is clear enough tonight, stargazers from around the world will get a chance to see a penumbral lunar eclipse.
East Coasters will get a better look at the action as opposed to the West Coast of the United States because the eclipse will take place back East after the sun has set.
The October full moon is known as the Hunter's Moon. During the partial eclipse, the southern part of the Moon will grow darker as the eclipse occurs, this happens because the Earth's outer shadow is casting on the Moon. Tonight's eclipse is called a penumbral lunar eclipse because the Moon will pass through the earth's shadow, resulting in a subtle darkening. This is opposed to a total eclipse, which is obviously more dramatic. So, there's no guarantee that you will see the eclipse because it won't be overtly noticeable. However, the event will last about four hours, Primetime viewing should occur around 7:50 pm.
Don't worry if you can't see the eclipse because the weather isn't great in your area. The Slooh Space Camera has their online internet feed which will bring the action to you with a live broadcast from telescopes stationed in the Canary Islands. An explanation of the eclipse will accompany the real-time images. Eclipse experts will be on the air beginning at 7:30 pm to talk about the eclipse at its peak.
You can keep up with current information and see pictures of the eclipse on Twitter at #lunareclipse. Here are a few early tweets:
— opinionated hijabi (@opinionatedhjbi) October 18, 2013
A faint #LunarEclipse will be visible in South Africa at 10pm this evening.
— Gauteng Weather (@tWeatherSA) October 18, 2013
— Peter Stockinger (@StarsAndStones) October 18, 2013
Image via Wikipedia