The month of October will emerge with a partial lunar eclipse, perfectly visible even from Italy: the phenomenon will begin on the evening of Saturday 28th at 8.02 pm, when our satellite will immerse itself in the Earth’s penumbra, while at 9.35 pm it will begin to be covered by the very shadow of our planet. The peak of the eclipse will be reached at 10.14pm, when 6% of the lunar surface will be temporarily deprived of direct light from the Sun, and the phenomenon will completely end at 12.26am on 29 October. The eclipse will only be partial, as the Moon is not in perfect alignment with the Earth and Sun.
How to observe the eclipse
“At the peak of the eclipse it should be possible to see the shadowed part of the Moon take on the typical red color”, says Gianluca Masi, astrophysicist and scientific director of the Virtual Telescope Project. “It is due to the unique chromatic component of sunlight which, filtering through our atmosphere, reaches that part of the satellite temporarily in the Earth’s shadow. The observation can be conducted with the naked eye – continues Masi – while binoculars or a telescope will allow us to better follow the various phases. Furthermore, to make the scene of the event more precious, Jupiter will also be in the same area of the sky.”
There are many initiatives from the local associations of the Italian Amateur Astronomers Union, which follow those scheduled for the International Moon Night on October 21st: “Some events that had been canceled due to bad weather were moved to coincide with the partial eclipse – says Paolo Volpini of Uai to ANSA – thus transforming the Night of the Moon almost into a ‘month of the Moon'”. The Virtual Telescope will also share live images of the eclipse starting from 8.00 pm, both from Rome through its mobile instruments, and from Manciano (Grosseto), where the robotic observation station is installed.