Posted in science

Science Geek Alert! Partial Lunar Eclipse TONIGHT!

I’ve been fascinated by space, the moon, our Solar System and all things Not Of This World since I was a little girl who created a travel agent shop in her bedroom selling trips to other planets!

You’ll find me outside tonight with the camera trying to catch shots of the partial lunar eclipse that should be visible from the UK tonight. If there’s a break in the clouds, of course!

Smithsonian Institution

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is between the sun and the moon – the moon is in the Earth’s shadow. A full lunar eclipse happens when the full moon is completely in the Earth’s shadow – and tonight’s full moon will only be partially in the Earth’s shadow, so only part of the moon will be affected.

Unlike a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse happens over several hours. Tonight it should be at it’s deepest – around 65% in shadow – at approximately 10.30pm, but you should be able to see the effect half an hour either side of this! (so don’t panic if you can’t see it through the clouds at first!)

Credit: Greg Smye-Rumsby / Astronomy Now

You won’t be able to see it all over the world – this shows where in the world you CAN see it! Clouds permitting, of course!

Image credit: NASA/Fred Espenak

And if the clouds DO bugger up my chance of seeing it, there’s always live stream from the Royal Museums Greenwich Facebook page!

With impeccable timing, this eclipse coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission which put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon.

Boggle your kids’ minds with these facts about going to the moon!

  • Only TWELVE people have ever walked on the moon – all men!
  • Nobody has walked on the moon during more than one mission
  • The last time anyone walked on the moon was in December 1972
  • Only FOUR men who walked on the moon are still alive today
  • They are all in their eighties
  • The successful missions to the moon were called Apollo 11, Apollo 12, Apollo 14, Apollo 15, Apollo 16 and Apollo 17.
  • Apollo 13 was supposed to land on the moon but due to an explosion in an oxygen tank, it was unable to. Fortunately, the crew were able to return to Earth safely, although it was a very close thing!

I’m all excited! Can you tell?