The Sun, Earth and Moon will align in almost perfect line on September 16, 2016, treating observers in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia with a penumbral lunar eclipse. The eclipse will last 3 hours and 59 minutes and will be the last of three lunar eclipses in 2016.
A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth's partial shadow, or penumbra. During this type of eclipse, the Moon will darken slightly but not completely.
This penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible throughout most of eastern Europe, eastern Africa, Asia, western Australia and the western Pacific Ocean.
The instant of greatest eclipse will take place at 18:55 UTC on September 16. This is 1.9 days before the Moon reaches perigee. The Moon will be in the constellation Pisces.
According to Fred Espenak, NASA's expert for eclipses, this is a very deep penumbral eclipse. It has a penumbral eclipse magnitude of 0.9080 and a penumbral eclipse duration of 239.4 minutes. Gamma has a value of -1.0549.
The eclipse belongs to Saros 147 and is number 8 of 70 eclipses in the series. All eclipses in this series occur at the Moon’s descending node. The Moon moves northward with respect to the node with each succeeding eclipse in the series and gamma increases.
The Moon will reach its full phase at 19:06 UTC.
Image courtesy Fred Espenak, NASA/GSFC
Featured image: The penumbral lunar eclipse of February 9, 2009 by NavneethC (CC - Flickr) with planetary positions for September 16, 2016 by Solar System Scope.