In October 2013, another remarkable sky gazing event for the spectators will be available with the 2013 penumbral lunar eclipse scheduled Wednesday, Oct. 18. The subtle-type penumbral eclipse will have the moon dimming slightly as it glides through the edge of planet Earth's shadow known as penumbra.
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The moon's orbit is tipped approximately 5 degrees relative to Earth's orbit around the sun. A full moon typically passes through the Earth's shadow with no eclipse occuring, but two to four times a year, and that 5 degrees tip difference comes into play and the moon passes through partly to the Earth's shadow.
The Earth-based observers may see a reduction in the moon's brightness. However, no part of the moon's disk will be completely within the Earth's shadow (umbra) and no part of its disk will appear completely dark.
The noticeable dimming of the moon's disk is typically perceptible to a trained eye, especially when a quite small fraction of the moon's disk enters the penumbral and no part of its surface observes an especially deep eclipse of the sun's light reaching it.
Even though the Earth blocks the sunlight from reaching the moon during a total lunar eclipse, our planet is much smaller compared to the sun so indirect sunlight still manages to get around Earth and light up the moon. However, this sunlight is filtered through the Earth's atmosphere eliminating most of the blue light waves and leaves the deep red or orange light to land on the moon's surface.
"Maximum eclipse will occur at 23h51 UTC, at which time 76.5% of the moon's disk will be in the Earth's penumbral shadow. The eclipse will last for 239 minutes from 21h51 to 01h50 UTC," the In-The-Sky.org report reads.
Spectators in the regions of the Americas, Oceania, Europe, Africa and Asia can observe clearly this event. The 2013 lunar eclipse is one of the four lunar eclipses in a short-term series at the descending node of the moon's orbit.
The lunar-year series repeats every 12 lunations or 354 days and shifts back about 10 days in sequential years. The next total lunar eclipse will happen on April 15, 2014. This will be visible from the Americas.
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