A penumbral lunar eclipse will occur on Oct. 18 and a live stream will allow viewers from around the world to be witnesses. Unlike normal lunar eclipses, where the moon passes behind Earth and into its shadow, a penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the moon enters the outer shadow of the Earth, producing a minor darkening of the moon.
The live stream will be courtesy of SLOOH, an international community of astronomers and observatories, beginning at 5:45 p.m. EDT, 2:45 p.m. PDT on Oct. 18. The moon will dim slightly as it enters the outer shadow of the Earth and astronomers will be on hand to answer viewer questions during the live stream.
The penumbral lunar eclipse is subtle and SLOOH notes that this type of eclipse would go unobserved by most people, but the sun will play a part in making the event more interesting for viewers. "Since one part of the moon will be illuminated by a mostly blacked out Sun covered up by the Earth while the opposite edge will experience full sunlight, the shading should be unusual, and worth observing," said SLOOH in a statement.
Another interesting aspect of this penumbral lunar eclipse is that it coincides with the Hunter's Moon, the full moon after the Harvest Moon, the full moon in September. October will be a good month for astronomy fans as the Orionid meteor shower, also known as the Orionids, will begin Oct. 20. Comet ISON, which may not live up to the title of "comet of the century," has been making its way around Mars, but the show so far has been underwhelming.
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The penumbral lunar live stream can be viewed below.