Lunar Eclipse 2013: Tonight's Sky Show To Be Webcast By SLOOH Space Camera

North America will be well positioned to see a lunar eclipse late tonight (May 24), but it might not be worth waiting up for.

During this penumbral lunar eclipse, the moon will only pass into the Earth’s outer shadow — the penumbra — which is much fainter and more diffuse compared with the much sharper and darker shadow known as the umbra.

Last month, the April full moon barely touched the umbra, resulting in a very small partial eclipse that caused a tiny "dent of darkness" over the moon's northern

Lunar eclipses can only occur when the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun, which occurs during the full moon phase. When the moon is perfectly aligned with the Earth, it is completely in the Earth's shadow, causing a total lunar eclipse that can yield amazing views of a blood-red moon. However, the moon's orbit is tilted, so it does not line up perfectly each month. When the moon only passes through part of the Earth's shadow, it causes a partial lunar eclipse. A dip through the outer edges of the shadow, like tonight's eclipse, is a penumbral lunar eclipse.

Tonight's penumbral lunar eclipse will be primarily visible from the Americas and western Africa, according to NASA eclipse expert Fred Espenak at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. It will begin at 11:53 p.m. EDT (0353 GMT) and end just before 12:27 a.m. EDT (0427 GMT). The time of greatest eclipse, when the moon will be at its deepest point into Earth's shadow, will be at 12:10 a.m. EDT (0410 GMT), according to Espenak.

May Full Moon Names From Different Cultures

Frog Moon (Cree).
Ponies shed (Sioux).
Bright moon (Celtic).
Waiting Moon (Hopi).
Mulberry Moon (Greek).
Ninth Moon (Wishram).
Idle Moon (Assiniboine).
Big Leaf Moon (Mohawk).
Panther Moon (Choctaw).
Grass Moon (Neo-Pagan).
Planting Moon (Cherokee).
Corn Planting Moon (Taos).
Little Corn Moon (Natchez).
Green Leaf Moon (Apache).
Corn Weed Moon(Agonquin).
Field Maker Moon (Abernaki).
Blossom Moon (Anishnaabe).
Shaggy Hair Moon (Arapaho).
Green Leaves Moon (Dakota).
Fat Horses Moon (Cheyenne).
Leaf Tender Moon (San Juan).
Hare Moon (Medieval English).
Milk Moon (Colonial American).
Strawberry Moon (Potawatomi).
Hoeing Corn Moon (Winnebago).
Alewive Moon (Passamaquoddy).
Ninth Moon (Dark Janic), Mothers Moon (Full Janic).
Flower Moon, Corn Plant Moon, Milk Moon (Algonquin).
Other Moon names : Frogs Return Moon, Sproutkale Moon, Dyad Moon, Merry Moon, Joy Moon

LIVE Webcast
The video above is a recording. The webcast will appear above approximately 30 minutes before broadcast time

You can follow the webcast directly from the Slooh Space Camera here:

The moon will dip ever so slightly through Earth's shadow overnight on Friday and Saturday (May 24 and May 25) and will be webcast online by the Slooh Space Camera. The eclipse webcast will begin at 11:37 p.m. EDT (0337 May 25 GMT).

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