This Week in Space: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse and Bright Jupiter to Set Celestial Show

Apart from twin comets’ flyby of earth, there is another reason to observe sky this week: penumbral lunar eclipse pairing with bright Jupiter.

The moon will enter earth’s shadow in the morning of Wednesday and lead to a penumbral eclipse. People in the East Coast will be able to observe the celestial event with a very bright Jupiter that is scheduled to appear with the moon on Tuesday night.

During the eclipse, residents of the central and western US will see a slightly darkened moon. Other regions of the globe, such as Asia, Australia and Pacific will also be able to catch the glimpse of this special sky event, said Fred Espenak, who is an eclipse expert.

When the moon will be at 12.4 magnitude, a very bright Jupiter with a magnitude of about -2.5 tries to gain the attention of skywatchers. The largest planet in the solar system is estimated to reach opposition on March 8, which means it will shine all night long.

As per experts, the penumbral lunar eclipse will reach its greatest point on Wednesday around 7:48 am. Earth may produce two types of shadows during the event: umbral and penumbral. When the moon moves through the darkest part of our planet’s shadow, it turned to copper-like red. On the other side, the penumbral shadow is when the moon slides through the earth’s outer shadow.

Lunar eclipse experts say these events have families, and the latest one is called as lunar eclipse Saros 142. The next total lunar eclipse of any family is estimated to occur two years from now in January. This year’s September will host another penumbral lunar eclipse, but people from North America will not be able to observe it.

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