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Moon looks lopsided tonight

Clear skies for tonights lunar eclipse

Look at the eastern sky for the moon to rise minutes before sunset to see the penumbral eclipse. Later in the night a comet can be seen with binoculars.
Look at the eastern sky for the moon to rise minutes before sunset to see the penumbral eclipse. Later in the night a comet can be seen with binoculars.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Keep your heads up this evening stargazers. A lunar eclipse will occur as the moon rises over the eastern horizon at 6:04 pm just minutes before the sun sets. 

This is a penumbral eclipse when the moon passes through part of the Earth's shadow. Since the crossing will not be directly in the core of Earth's shadow the eclipse will not be as spectacular like the dark-red shadow in a total lunar eclipse.

Skies will be clear over the First Coast  but expect to see a lopsided moon shape or a tease compared to a complete eclipse. Shading will be confined to the upper left half of the "Snow Moon."

But there's more to the astronomical excitement!  Comet 45P will make its closest approach to earth a few hours after sunset. For this you will need binoculars to see the bright blue-green head in the eastern sky around 3 am Saturday morning. The tail will extend from the head as it passes 7.4 million miles from Earth.

In August, the most spectacular total solar eclipse will happen on the 21st. NASA has set up a great site to learn more. 


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