Partial Lunar Eclipse, 4 Jun 2012
These two weeks are very eventful for astronomy enthusiasts. First, we have an annular solar eclipse on May 21 (pictures on this later), tomorrow we are going to have a partial lunar eclipse, and on Jun 6 we are going to have a rare Venus transit (more on this later).
In Malaysia, the partial lunar eclipse starts before the sun sets, at 4:48 pm, when the Moon enters the Earth’s penumbra shadow. At 6 pm, the Moon will enter the umbra, and greatest eclipse will occur at 7:03 pm with 37% of the Moon in Earth’s umbra shadow. Unfortunately, we are going to miss all these in Malaysia because the Moon only rises around 7:20 pm. However, we will still be able to observe the end of the eclipse as the Moon leaves the umbra between 7:20 and 8:06 pm.
The eclipse can be observed with or without a telescope. Telescopic view definitely will be better, but if you do not have a telescope, you can also observe just using your naked eyes.
The timing of the eclipse is as follows:
Hopefully the weather is clear for us to catch a glimpse of the eclipse. If you miss this eclipse, it’s OK, you can wait for the next one; lunar eclipse occurs few times a year. But make sure you do not miss the Venus transit this coming Jun 6 (details later), the next one will be in year 2117!
Partial Lunar Eclipse on New Year’s Day in 2010. Credit: thchieh