Monday, March 21, 2016

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse - 23 Mar 2016

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse - 23 Mar 2016

Date: 23 March 2016 (Wednesday)
Duration: 5:39pm - 9:55pm (Singapore local time)
Greatest Eclipse: 7:48pm.


For those who are only interested in the visual excitement of eclipses, this upcoming penumbral lunar eclipse will NOT be spectacular. The Moon will be only slightly dimmer to unaided eyes. Most people will not be able to visually tell this difference. Potential changes in weather condition during this eclipse may further complicate these visual perceptions and comparisons.

For those who are interested in learning more and proving the existence of the darker (umbra) and lighter (penumbral) shadows of Earth, you may take photos or videos of the Moon before, during and after this eclipse. Make sure you are using the same camera settings to make meaningful photographic comparisons later. Again, do factor in the sky condition in influencing the Moon looking darker or brighter in the photos.

If you see any photos in the media reporting about this penumbral lunar eclipse looking red/dark/copper, that's NOT how it should look like. They are most probably using archive photos of partial or total lunar eclipses.

So technically, it is accurate to say this penumbral lunar eclipse is visible from Singapore (and many other countries) but visually it is hard to see the difference compared to a non-eclipsed full Moon.

Watch this excellent NASA video and pay attention to the penumbral type of lunar eclipse:

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