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Up in the sky: Penumbral eclipse on the Fourth of July

THE MYSTERIOUS MOON

By Angela Garrity, Guest Blogger

Don’t be in a hurry to rush off to bed after the fireworks on the 4th of July or you’ll miss another sky spectacular event – a lunar eclipse.

“On the night of July 4, the full moon will pass through part of Earth's shadow, creating a lunar eclipse that will be visible across North America and South America. This will be the first lunar eclipse visible from this part of the world since 2019”, WFAA reports.

This aligned event will be a penumbral lunar eclipse, where the moon passes only through Earth's outer shadow, called the penumbra, and misses the darker inner shadow, called the umbra.

"This third kind of lunar eclipse is much more subtle, and much more difficult to observe, than either a total or partial eclipse of the moon," EarthSky explained on its website. "At best, at mid-eclipse, very observant people will notice a dark shading on the moon's face."

The eclipse kicks off on July 4 at 11:07 p.m. EDT and continues until July 5 at 1:52 a.m. EDT, however, the best time to look will be during the middle of the event.

The shaded corner of the moon will be most evident around 12:30 a.m. EDT, just about mid-eclipse, before the moon gradually drifts out of the Earth's shadow.

Sounds like ideal conditions for a moonlight drive.

But wait, there’s more in store for this weekend’s sky-gazing events.

On Sunday night, look toward the moon because it will be shining up close and personal next to Jupiter and Saturn. These three bodies will be huddled together all night long, after making their appearance in the southeasterly sky around 11:00 p.m. EDT.

The next five years are going to amazing for sky gazers. Keep looking up!

RELATED: Want more space? Check out our Humanity in Space series