Friday’s lunar eclipse might be difficult to spot — here’s how you catch the difference

Friday’s lunar eclipse might be difficult to spot — here’s how you catch the difference
The lunar eclipse earlier this year, as seen from Hungary. The slight darkening during the penumbral lunar eclipse can be seen in the central phases.NASA
  • The penumbral lunar eclipse set to take place on Friday, June 5, maybe a little difficult to spot.
  • Since the Moon will only pass through Earth’s outer shadow, the Full Moon will only slightly darken during the eclipse.
  • Here are some hacks you can use to capture the changing colours and truly take in the lunar eclipse in all its glory.
During the ‘Strawberry Full Moon’ this Friday on June 5, a lunar eclipse is set to take over the skies. However, since its a penumbral lunar eclipse — it can be little difficult to differentiate from a normal Full Moon.

A lunar eclipse or Chandra Grahan occurs when the Earth comes in between the Sun and the Moon. Since the Moon can’t generate its own light, the Earth interference blocks out the Sun’s light and casts a shadow over the moon.

During a penumbral lunar eclipse, three celestial bodies aren’t perfectly aligned. In fact, it’s only the Earth’s outer shadow — the penumbra — that gets cast over the moon. So instead of completely blocking out the Sun’s light, there’s only a slight darkening which occurs, making it difference a little difficult to spot.

A keen observer will be able to tell that the Moon looks a little tea-colored rather than its usual pearly white. India is lucky this time around since the Moon will be above the horizon for bystanders as the lunar eclipse occurs, making it the perfect time to capture the lunar eclipse in all its glory.

Here’s how you tell the difference between a penumbral lunar eclipse and a normal Full Moon on June 5:

Color Grab app
The easiest way to spot the difference is to download the Color Grab app on your smartphone. When you click a picture of the moon, the app will be able to detect the change in colour before, during and the after the lunar eclipse.

The ideal way to do this would be to click the first picture before 11:15 pm on June 5 when the lunar eclipse or Chandra Grahan is set to begin. Click the second picture at around 12:54 am on June 6 when the maximum eclipse is supposed to come in to play. The final picture should be clicked after 2:24 am on June 6, when the lunar eclipse is scheduled to come to an end.

You’ll just have to keep your fingers crossed that good weather conditions hold up in order for the Moon to be clearly visible in the night sky.

DSLR with 200mm focal lens
A camera will a minimum 200mm focal lens is also a good way to catch the Moon’s changing hues. It helps if you have a tripod on which to mount the camera in order to take the picture. The longer the lens, the better the pictures will be.

Attach your smartphone to a telescope
Not everyone has a telescope lying around at home. But if case you do, or your friend does — to catch the changing colors of the Moon during the lunar eclipse — all you have to do is hold up your smartphone to the eyepiece of a telescope.

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