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Last month’s lunar eclipse

Stanislaus Ronny Terrance photographed the April 25, 2013 partial lunar eclipse as seen from Frankfurt, Germany.

Penumbral lunar eclipse on April 25, 2013

The April 25-26, 2013 lunar eclipse was a complete penumbral eclipse – and a very brief partial eclipse. Photograph by Stanislaus Ronny Terrance.

The eclipse of April 25-26, 2013 featured a very brief partial eclipse of the moon, as shown on the photo above. See how the top part of the moon appears darkened for part of the eclipse? As seen from parts of Earth (but not North or South America), Earth’s dark umbral shadow barely clipped the full moon for 27 minutes, causing this third-shortest partial lunar eclipse in the 21st century. Before and after the partial eclipse, there was a deep penumbral eclipse of the moon.

There are two more lunar eclipses later this year, but both are penumbral only. During the April 25-26 eclipse, Earth’s dark umbral shadow was located mostly to one side of the moon, as shown in the photo above. That was the last time Earth’s umbral shadow will touch the moon’s face until the total lunar eclipse of April 15, 2014.

See it! More photos of April 25-26 penumbral lunar eclipse

Next eclipse: Ring of fire annular eclipse of sun May 9-10, 2013

Are lunar eclipses more common than solar eclipses?

Earth's shadow has two parts: a dark inner umbra and lighter surrounding penumbra.   When Earth's penumbral shadow falls on the moon, it creates a very subtle eclipse - a shading on the moon's surface.  When the darker umbral shadow falls on the moon, it appears as if a

Earth’s shadow has two parts: a dark inner umbra and lighter surrounding penumbra. When Earth’s penumbral shadow falls on the moon, it creates a very subtle eclipse, the barest shading of the moon’s surface. When the darker umbral shadow falls on the moon, it appears as if a “bite” has been taken from the moon’s face. Illustration via astro.washington.edu

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Chris Comfort

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