Weather Tidbits: Lunar Eclipse

This Weather Tidbits dives into how a lunar eclipse occurs in the night sky. A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth positions itself in between the sun and moon; with the sun casting a shadow on the moon, which can only occur during a full moon phase. Also, the earth’s atmosphere scatters blue light with only red light remaining, which is crucial for a lunar eclipse viewing. Like a solar eclipse, we have penumbra and umbra too. The penumbra is the area where the earth’s blocks part of the sun’s light to the moon, creating an outer shadow. The umbra or inner shadow is the area where the earth blocks all the sunlight reaching the moon.

A penumbral eclipse occurs when the moon is completely in the penumbra; creating a dimmer look of the moon, which is harder to spot.  A partial lunar eclipse happens a portion of the moon passes through the umbra. Lastly, total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is completely inside the umbra giving it a reddish glow. Lunar eclipses can be viewed safely with your eyes and without any special glasses.

Categories: Weather Tidbits