Penumbral Lunar Eclipse: Another reason to look at the sky on July 4



Photo: Penumbral lunar eclipse, ABC News

A common activity on the 4th of July is to watch fireworks explode in the sky, but this year you can also watch a penumbral lunar eclipse.

Starting Saturday at 10:07 p.m. and lasting until Sunday at 12:52 a.m. in Nebraska, earth’s outer shadow will partially cover the full moon making it appear a bit darker. This phenomenon will be seen in much of North America, Africa, parts of Europe and all of South America.

A penumbral lunar eclipse is different from a partial or total lunar eclipse in that the moon is slightly dimmed as a result of the earth’s light outer penumbral shadow. A partial or total lunar eclipse takes place when the darker innermost umbra shadow covers the moon resulting in more of a blackening on the moon’s surface.

While not as easy to spot as a partial or total lunar eclipse, the penumbral lunar eclipse will still be noticeable for those with a good eye. A telescope or binoculars will also help you notice the shadow better on the moon’s surface.

The good news is that weather conditions across the state of Nebraska are favorable for the penumbral lunar eclipse as of now. During the time of the eclipse, the sky is expected to be mostly clear for nearly perfect viewing conditions. Although, as of now there is a slight chance for rain before and after the event.

For the latest weather conditions leading up to the holiday and the penumbral lunar eclipse, make sure to watch the Channel 8 Storm Alert team throughout the week or go to


Categories: Channel 8 Eyewitness News Weather, Forecast, News