Lunar Eclipse Tonight

full-moon

A full moon will rise over the Tennessee Valley tonight, and, if the clouds cooperate, you may notice an eclipse darkening part of the Moon for a period of time this evening. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The eclipse actually began at 4:50 PM central time, but the Moon won’t rise here in the Valley until 5:58 . PM
  • The Sun sets here at about 6:08 PM, with twilight ending at 6:33 PM.
  • The eclipse will be at it greatest at 6:50 PM and will come to an end at about 8:50 PM.

Tonight’s eclipse is not a total or even partial eclipse but rather a penumbral eclipse, formed when the Earth casts a shadow in the shape of a cone onto the Moon. This type is the slightest and most difficult to see, but tonight’s eclipse is still expected to be fairly visible. Clouds may impede the view for some during the time period from 6:30 to 8:50 PM, and the Moon will be fairly low on the eastern horizon, but if you do get a clear shot, look for a slight darkening on the southern half of the Moon’s surface.

For more on eclipses, past and future, and what causes them, check out NASA’s lunar eclipse site.

-Brandon