(CBS NEWS) -- The full moon will dip into Earth's shadow tonight (Oct. 18),
producing a lunar eclipse that can be seen by keen observers around the
Weather permitting, skywatchers in Africa, Europe,
western Asia, and the eastern parts of North and South America will get
the chance to observe part of the southern portion of the moon passing
into Earth's penumbra -- the planet's outer shadow.
The shading will be subtle, but during the penumbral lunar eclipse,
the moon will be partially in shadow for about four hours with the time
of deepest eclipse occurring at 7:50 p.m. EDT (2350 GMT). At that
moment, the Earth's outer shadow will cover 76.5 percent of the lunar
disk. [See amazing photos of a penumbral lunar eclipse]
You can also watch the eclipse online. The online Slooh Space Camera
will air a live broadcast of the entire four-hour eclipse starting at
2:45 p.m. EDT (1845 GMT). Slooh's team of experts will join the show at
7:30 p.m. EDT (2330 GMT) to comment during the eclipse's peak. You can watch the penumbral eclipse webcast live on SPACE.com, courtesy of Slooh.
"Although a penumbral lunar eclipse might go unnoticed by someone
casually glancing at the moon, we will be able to observe the gradual
shading of the moon in the live images Slooh will broadcast throughout
the eclipse," Slooh's Paul Cox said in a statement. "The shading becomes
far more apparent when viewed as a time-lapse, and we'll show viewers
that during the live segment of the show."
People in the western
portion of the United States probably won't get a very good eclipse
show. The deepest phase happens during the late afternoon hours before
moonrise, but people on the east coast are in a better position to see
this celestial event because it occurs right after sunset. The penumbra
may be seen over the southern limb of the moon.
Africa, Europe and western Asia will be able to catch the eclipse during
the middle of the night, as the moon is high in the night sky. The
shading will look like a slightly reddish tint on the bright full moon, according to SPACE.com skywatching columnist Joe Rao.
A penumbral eclipse is not necessarily as striking as a total or
partial eclipse. During a partial eclipse, the inner shadow (called the
umbral shadow) of the Earth partially blocks the moon, while a total
eclipse occurs when the Earth's umbra completely casts the moon in
Editor's note: If you snap an amazing
picture Friday's penumbral lunar eclipse or any other night sky view
that you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, send
photos, comments and your name and location to managing editor Tariq
Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.