Happy Friday my gem-tastic readers! This post is going to be a little different because the rock we are talking about is slightly larger than your average gem. This rock is nocturnal and it was once thought to be made of cheese. The moon is our honorary gem of the week, to celebrate the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse that will happen tonight!
Gaze out your windows tonight and you might see the full moon with a slight, spooky shadow on its lower half. This shadow comes courtesy of Earth, because the moon will be passing through Earth’s penumbral shadow. Tonight, Earth, the sun and the moon will be ever so slightly more out of alignment than they would be in a partial eclipse. This causes a light darkening of the moon. Some lucky folks may even get to see the moon take on a spooky reddish tint as a result of the eclipse. When the sun is filtered through Earth’s atmosphere, it drains any blue light and replaces it with red.
For most of North America, the maximum effect of the eclipse will be most visible for us around 8 p.m. and close to sunset and moon-rise. Unfortunately for West-Coasters, the eclipse will be over before the moon rises and the East Coast will have the best seat in the house… Well, at least in North America. The best viewing place for the Penumbral Eclipse will be in Brazil, Europe and Africa. Will you be looking for the Penumbral Eclipse tonight?
If your luck has run dry and you miss the Penumbral Eclipse tonight, you still have a chance to catch a glimpse of the Orionids Meteor Shower, which will begin Monday night. While the nearly full moon will be blocking the dimmer meteors, the brightest and biggest will still be visible. The meteors will be darting through the sky all night and the best viewing time will be after midnight and before dawn. Shall we use this as an excuse to skip any Tuesday morning obligations? I think so!
I will be posting a reminder plus fun facts about the Orionids Meteor Shower on Monday so stay tuned and whip out your sky-gazing gear! Hey all of you photographers out there, be sure to send us your best moon pictures. We would love to see them! Also, my favorite holiday is coming up… Halloween! So show me some spooky spirit and share your favorite creepy costume and party ideas!
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All of you space-gazers have fun tonight!
Love intern BB