We are getting both a solar and a lunar eclipse this year, with the Lunar eclipse coming this weekend. However, only some parts of the world will be able to view it in its entirety, and the United States may miss out altogether.
Stargazers are calling it the strawberry moon, and it will arrive in the sky on Friday, and will be visible through Sunday. However, don’t expect the strawberry moon to have any kind of strange red color, the name is an old reference to the strawberry harvest season. It has also been called the mead moon, honey moon, hot moon, and planting moon.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are exactly or very closely aligned, with Earth between the other two. A lunar eclipse can occur only on the night of a full moon. The type and length of a lunar eclipse depend on the Moon’s proximity to either node of its orbit.
During a total lunar eclipse, Earth completely blocks direct sunlight from reaching the Moon. The only light reflected from the lunar surface has been refracted by Earth’s atmosphere. Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed from a relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of Earth. A total lunar eclipse can last up to nearly 2 hours, while a total solar eclipse lasts only up to a few minutes at any given place, due to the smaller size of the Moon’s shadow. Also unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions, as they are dimmer than the full Moon.
The eclipse this weekend will be a bit different because it is a penumbral eclipse, which is much more subtle than a total eclipse, and can be easy to miss. With a penumbral eclipse, the moon slips through the Earth’s outer shadow, which can trigger a slight darkening of the moon.
This weekend’s eclipse will visible from most of Asia and Europe, Australia, Africa, Antarctica, and South America’s southwest region. The eclipse will begin on the 5th of June at UTC 17:45:51, then reach its peak at 19:24:55 and end at 19:24:55. The United States will, unfortunately, miss out on the eclipse.
Later this month, on June 21st, we will have an opportunity to see a solar eclipse as well.
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, which totally or partly blocks out the Sun for a viewer on Earth. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon’s apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun’s, blocking most of the Sun’s light and causing the Sun to look like an annulus, or ring.