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Amazing Full Thunder Moon Lunar Eclipse Happening Next Week

by : Lucy Connolly on : 27 Jun 2020 15:54
Amazing Full Thunder Moon Lunar Eclipse Happening Next WeekAmazing Full Thunder Moon Lunar Eclipse Happening Next WeekGanapathy Kumar/Unsplash/Kym Mackinnon/Unsplash

The weather might have been a bit tumultuous lately, but we’re about to get rewarded for it in the form of a Thunder Moon lunar eclipse.

It seems good things really do come to those who wait, because although we might be getting slightly fed up of thunderstorms ruining our socially-distanced plans, at least we’ll get to catch a glimpse of an amazing moon in the meantime.

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Listen, I know it doesn’t really make up for our lack of plans but hey, at least it will provide a welcome distraction. If you get up in time to watch it, that is.

Thunder moonThunder moonPA Images

So what is a Thunder Moon lunar eclipse?

Well, it’s actually two phenomenons coming together at once. First, the Full Moon, otherwise known as the Thunder Moon – known as such ‘because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month’, according to Old Farmer’s Almanac – or Buck Moon, known as such by early Native American tribes because the male buck deer would begin to grow their new antlers at this time of year.

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The second phenomenon is the penumbral lunar eclipse. While we’ve all likely heard of the Full Moon, we’re less likely to have ever witnessed a penumbral lunar eclipse, as it’s much more subtle and more difficult to observe in the sky than, say, a total or partial eclipse of the moon.

This type of eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the Earth’s partial shadow, or penumbra. During a penumbral lunar eclipse the moon will darken slightly but not completely, hence it’s so difficult to spot.

Lahore: First penumbral eclipse of moon in 2017Lahore: First penumbral eclipse of moon in 2017PA Images

If you’re lucky (and willing to get up at the crack of dawn), you’ll be able to witness the phenomenon on Sunday, July 5, with the Full Moon being illuminated at 4.44am UTC (5.44am BST). At this time, the moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be fully illuminated.

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The eclipse will be trickier to spot but if you’re up for the challenge, it will be visible throughout most of North America, South America, the eastern Pacific Ocean, the western Atlantic Ocean, and extreme western Africa.

Be warned though: at best, at mid-eclipse, very observant people will notice a dark shading on the moon’s face. Others will notice nothing at all. As a result, next month’s lunar eclipse will not be a Blood Moon, which happens when Earth’s Moon is in a total lunar eclipse.

Sequence penumbral lunar eclipse at South Tangerang IndonesiaSequence penumbral lunar eclipse at South Tangerang IndonesiaPA Images

Around this time last year, astronomy fans were treated to a Half-Blood Moon as a result of a partial lunar eclipse, whereby only a section of the moon passed through Earth’s inner shadow.

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That meant that around half of the moon took on a red tint, whereas a proper Blood Moon would make whole thing change colour – if only for a little while.

Unfortunately, we’ve got quite a long time to wait on that front, almost a whole year in fact, with the next Blood Moon eclipse falling on May 26, 2021.

I’ll see you there, I guess.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Science, Astronomy, Moon, Now

Credits

Sea and Sky and 1 other
  1. Sea and Sky

    Astronomy Calendar of Celestial Events for Calendar Year 2020

  2. Old Farmer’s Almanac

    FULL MOON FOR JULY 2020