It’s Ash Wednesday, but lunar eclipse is happening this weekend

To celebrate the Lunar New Year in China, the United States and parts of Latin America and South America, the entire sun blocked out by an annular lunar eclipse will cross the Earth once…

It’s Ash Wednesday, but lunar eclipse is happening this weekend

To celebrate the Lunar New Year in China, the United States and parts of Latin America and South America, the entire sun blocked out by an annular lunar eclipse will cross the Earth once over the next two days.

To be clear, an annular lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes through the inner part of Earth’s shadow, brightening the face of the moon, but scotching the connection between the sun and the Earth. (That is why the moon’s orbit is far outside the earth’s elliptical orbit around the sun.)

The dimming of the sun and brightly illuminating of the moon will be even more remarkable for those living south of the equator because the eclipse is taking place in the South Asian month of Makha Bucha, the longest lunar eclipse of the year. By 10 p.m. local time on Thursday, the moon will be only 49% illuminated, giving it the appearance of two moons, one bright and one dim.

The coming Friday is the longest of the year, when the moon will have gone dimmer, the entire sun has been veiled, and the whole moon once again scatters the glowing rays of the sun.

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