MOSCOW, February 10. /TASS/. A penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible for about half an hour on Friday night in nearly all parts of Russia, a senior Russian researcher told TASS Friday.
"Everywhere in Russia, except for the Far East, where it will already be morning, a penumbral lunar eclipse can be observed," said Oleg Ugolnikov, a senior researcher at the Moscow-based Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
"If you want to take a look, then you need to watch when it is most intense, at approximately 3:44 Moscow time. Between 3:30 and 4:00 Moscow time you will see that the upper part of the moon is noticeably darker, as if deformed," he said.
Lunar eclipses occur at least twice a year. Penumbral eclipses occur when the Moon passes through the Earth’s penumbra and are hard to observe, causing only a subtle darkening of the Moon’s surface. Umbral eclipses, when the moon enters the umbral shadow partly or completely, are easy to see, even with the unaided eye.
The scientist said that today’s eclipse will be intense enough to be seen with a naked eye. "It is just a tiny bit away from being classed as an umbral one," he said.
The next lunar eclipse will take place on August 7, it will be partially penumbral and will be only of scientific interest. In 2018, however, two total umbral eclipses will take place.