Don’t miss Wednesday’s penumbral lunar eclipse
A “penumbral” lunar eclipse will slip across the skies early on Wednesday morning.
A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth’s partial shadow, or penumbra. During this type of eclipse the Moon will darken slightly but not completely.
You’ll have to look at the full moon in the Western sky shortly before dawn breaks, and if skies are clear you may notice that it’s slightly darker than usual.
The effect will be fairly subtle, but keen observers should see a slight darkening of the moon’s otherwise highly reflective silvery surface.
The eclipse will start at 2:39 a.m. PDT and will be best visible in western North America at 4:47 a.m. PDT, when it reaches its deepest and darkest point. Folks in the eastern part of the continent will miss out on the second half of the sky show, since the moon will be setting in the west near sunrise.
Observers in the Pacific Ocean, Australia, New Zealand and Japan can catch the entire eclipse in their evening of March 23, with the darkest phase occurring at 11:47 UT.