Published October 17, 2013
A partial lunar eclipse will be visible Friday into Saturday night for those living from eastern Canada and the upper Northeast to Africa and most of Europe.
At 23:51 UTC, the fullest coverage of the moon by Earth's shadow will occur, lasting for 239 minutes.
The eclipse will be most visible for the United States and Canada at 7:50 p.m. EDT. Due to the timing of the eclipse, the moonrise will not be high enough for western parts of North America to view; its peak will not reach so far west and will only be visible for Africa and Europe.
Eclipse reach, via NASA/Wikimedia Commons.
For the parts of the United States and Canada that the eclipse will reach, cloud coverage will hinder the view for a large area, especially in Canada. Two slow-moving storm systems will bring rainy and cloudy conditions to much of Canada Friday evening. Some areas in the Saint Lawrence River Valley may get breaks to catch a glimpse of the moon, but most of Eastern and Atlantic Canada will miss out on the viewing.
Conditions will be mostly clear for the small portion of the northeastern United States that the eclipse will extend into.
Unlike viewing a solar eclipse, lunar eclipses may be viewed by staring directly at them. They also won't require any additional equipment, such as telescopes or binoculars. Areas that have clear skies will be able to see it the same way they'd typically view the moon. Because this eclipse will only have a partial shadow, the difference may not be as noticeable to the general public.
Most of Europe will have fair to good conditions at the time of the eclipse, where it will be visible at 12:50 a.m. WEST in Lisbon, Portugal, to 3:50 a.m. MSK Saturday in Moscow, Russia. Cloudy conditions will significantly limit visibility to the British Isles and western parts of the Iberian Peninsula, as well as for areas east of the Black Sea.
Lunar eclipses occur about two to four times a year. Some these are penumbral eclipses, which are so subtle that they hardly look like anything to the average observer.
Shadows have three parts, the umbra, penumbra and antumbra, which are used to describe the relation of the shadow to the degree of light casting it. The umbra is where the shadow is deepest, as the light source is fully blocked by the object casting the shadow. The penumbra and antumbra occur on the edges of the umbra where some of the light source lessens the shadow. The light cast on the moon during a penumbra eclipse obscures the view of the shadow cast, making the eclipse hard to notice.
This eclipse will be a penumbra, and astronomers will likely notice it more.
This will be the last lunar eclipse of 2013. The next easily visible eclipse will be April 15, 2014, seen as either a total or partial eclipse from Australia and eastern Asia across the Pacific to North and South America.