For you astronomy enthusiasts, a neat chance exists early tomorrow morning (November 30, 2020) to view our last full moon of the year as well as a penumbral eclipse.
What is a Penumbral Eclipse?
A penumbral eclipse occurs when the earth’s outer shadow (penumbra) passes over the moon. This makes the moon to appear a shade darker. It is not super noticeable, but the moon will slowly darken as the earth’s outer shadow passes over it.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the earth’s inner shadow (umbra) passes completely over the moon. We actually pass through the earth’s umbra every day. This period of time is what we call night.
Timing for Tonight’s Penumbral Eclipse
The penumbral eclipse will begin at 1:32 am CST. It will peak and appear the darkest at 3:42 am CST. During the peak, the earth’s penumbra will cover about 82.9% of the moon. The eclipse will then end at 5:53 am CST. The penumbral eclipse will last for a total of 4 hours and 21 minutes.
Last Full Moon of the Year
In addition to the penumbral eclipse the moon will also be a full moon. This is the last full moon of 2020. The moon will be fullest at 3:30 am CST tomorrow morning November 30th. It will then begin to wane in the coming nights.
This last full moon goes by a couple names. Native Americans call it the Full Beaver Moon because they associated this time of the year with beavers finishing their homes in preparation for the coming winter. This full moon is also sometimes referred to as Full Frost Moon because of the cold temperatures typically experienced during the month of November.
Viewing conditions should be nearly perfect with a clear sky and very cold temperatures in the forecast. If you step outside to catch either of these lunar events, make sure you bundle up!