Wolf Moon and penumbral lunar eclipse tomorrow in the Netherlands
Tomorrow we will welcome the first full moon of the decade, the Wolf Moon. This not the only astronomical event happening though, as tomorrow’s Wolf Moon comes paired with a penumbral lunar eclipse!
What can you expect?
Well for starters, don’t expect to see loads of wolves. The Wolf Moon simply gets its name for being the first full moon in the year. The name goes way back to when people used to track the changing seasons by the lunar month as opposed to the solar year. Today, we use those month names to name the full moons. Besides Wolf Moon, January’s full moon also goes by Old Moon and Ice Moon.
As for the lunar eclipse aspect of the event tomorrow, many penumbral lunar eclipses cannot easily be distinguished from a usual full moon. If you look well though, you may be able to see the Moon turn a shade darker during the maximum phase of the eclipse.
A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon are imperfectly aligned. In this kind of eclipse, the Earth blocks some of the Sun’s light from directly reaching the surface of the Moon and covers all or part of the Moon with the outer part of its shadow, also known as the penumbra. The penumbra is much fainter than the core of the Earth’s shadow, known as the umbra.
Catch the penumbral lunar eclipse
Unlike the meteor showers we all love to stay up late for, you won’t have to be up late at all to catch this lunar eclipse. In fact, it begins not long after work, namely tomorrow (Friday, January 10) at 6.07pm.
It must be said, though, that is impossible to observe the start and end of the penumbral lunar eclipse, even with a telescope, so you are better off trying to see it during its maximum phase. The maximum eclipse will occur around 8.10pm and it’ll all be over by 10.12pm. We’ll have to wait until June for another penumbral lunar eclipse to happen.
Of course, as always, if you are planning on catching a glimpse of this eclipse, you’ll need to check the weather forecast. For those of you in Amsterdam, it looks like we’ll be having clear skies in the evening, so there’s a good chance of seeing the eclipse.