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Lunar Eclipse Over Arizona Tonight: Rare But Visually Unimpressive

By Staff Writer | May 24, 2013 05:06 PM EDT

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
(Photo : Youtube (Gagare1952))

Tucson News Now reports that a rare lunar eclipse will occur Friday night over Arizona. Unfortunately, the eclipse will be difficult to see for most people.

The celestial event is known as a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. It will start at 8: 53 PM and end at 9:26 PM. The peak of the lunar eclipse is at 9:10 PM.

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Space.com says that this is the "least interesting type of eclipse, because the moon is in Earth's faint outer (penumbral) shadow. Unless you're a seasoned skywatcher, you likely won't notice the effect."

In other words, only a tiny sliver of the full moon will pass through the penumbra, which is the outer shadow cast by the Earth, according to United Press International.

Space.com Joe Rao explained: "It will thus be impossible to notice anything out of the ordinary concerning the moon's overall appearance." 

"It will, in fact look like any other full moon," he added.

The eclipse will be visible in the Americas and western Africa. It will also be webcast by the Slooh Space camera on Space.com

Lunar eclipses occur when the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun, Huffington Post explains. When the moon is perfectly in line with the Earth, is it in the Earth's shadow, and thus causes a lunar eclipse.

However, this month, due to the moon's orbital tilt, it will only pass through the outer edges of the Earth's shadow, creating a partial lunar eclipse.

Tagged :  Arizona, world news

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