On July 4th just after 11pm, the moon will start its temporary new look. For exactly two hours and 45 minutes, across most of North and South America, the moon will pass through a shadow cast from Earth, creating a partial lunar eclipse.
The best viewing time will be around 12:30 am ET.
Although the eclipse will be harder to see across western Europe and Africa, there may still be a glimpse visible. The event will not be visible in Eastern Europe, Asia, and northern Canada and Alaska. Also Read– New research suggests there could be more Earth-like planets
What to expect
The moon will seem a bit darker than usual as it passes from the outer part of Earth’s shadow. The eclipse will be hard to see as only there is faint shading of a corner of the moon.
A total eclipse is easier to see as the Earth blocks all direct sunlight from reaching the moon, and light reflecting from the Earth’s atmosphere casts a blood red hue on its surface. This will be the third eclipse in 2020 and the first to be visible in the Americas.
The next eclipse is expected on Nov. 30. Jupiter and Saturn will also be clearly visible this weekend. They will be visible near the moon as bright star-like points in the southeasterly sky.
Lunar eclipses can only occur during full moons. The full moon of July is called the Buck Moon because it appears at the same time young male deer grow their antlers.
A total lunar eclipse requires the Moon, Earth, and Sun to align in a straight line in space. Astronomers call this phenomenon celestial condition syzygy.