Starwatch Blog: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse and the aphelion occurs on the 4th of July


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Starwatch Blog for the week of June 29 – July 5

A Penumbral Lunar Eclipse will occur after Fourth of July celebrations.

Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes
Begins: July 4th 11:07 pm
Max: July 5th 12:29 am
Ends: July 5th 1:52 am

The moon will be rising in the east sky and moving toward the west through the night.
As long as weather conditions are clear, we will have a great view of the July full moon, the Buck Moon.

But the actual eclipse may be hard to see. It is considered a “faint” eclipse.  It is not Earth’s main shadow covering the moon, it is the diffuse outer shadow that casts over the moon. The penumbra. 

The penumbral eclipse will turn the moon slightly darker, especially the top half. This eclipse will be very subtle, a telescope or good camera is recommended. The best way to notice a difference is to watch the moon early in the sky, then again near its max eclipse time. 

Another treat after the fireworks calm is the planets Jupiter and Saturn shining near the full moon during its penumbral eclipse. 

And it’s not just the moon with a special day, also happening on July 4th, earth reaches its most distant point from the sun, or the aphelion. Just how far are we? About 94.5 million miles away. That’s 3 million miles farther from the sun than 6 months from now.

Thanks Earth Sky and Time and Date for help writing this blog.

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