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Astronomy: Everything you need to know about the lunar eclipse expected on Monday, March 25

Astronomy: Everything you need to know about the lunar eclipse expected on Monday, March 25

On the night of March 24 to 25, 2024, a penumbral lunar eclipse will occur. Unfortunately, this phenomenon should be difficult to notice. We tell you everything.

For the first time in 2024, a lunar eclipse is expected on the night of March 24 to 25, 2024. As the media reminds us Science and life, This is a penumbral lunar eclipse, which will begin very early, at 5:53 a.m. Paris time.Which will reach its peak around 8:12 am, before ending at 10:32 am. In total, the phenomenon will last four hours and thirty-nine minutes and can be seen in the constellation Virgo. Unfortunately, this eclipse will not be easy to spot. And for good reason: In addition to being the wrong time to observe it, our natural satellite will only pass through Earth's shadow, not its shadow as usual.

What is a lunar eclipse?

We talk about a lunar eclipse when it is last in the Earth's shadow. In other words, it is the absence of sun By land. This natural phenomenon can occur under certain conditions. “A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned in this order.”Florent Delefille, an astronomer at the Paris Observatory (PSL) and IMCCE (Institute of Celestial Mechanics and Ephemeris Calculation), points out in And to add: “This can only happen in the full moon phase, and it does not happen every month, because the alignment is not perfect enough every month. Lunar eclipse It can therefore be observed from half the Earth (the part where it is night, editor's note)“. In a newsletter from the Institute of Celestial Mechanics and Ephemeris, we also learned that the Moon must be illuminated for an eclipse to occur: “The Earth between the other two stars blocks all or part of the solar radiation that illuminates the Moon.”

Monday, March 25: Solar eclipse at twilight

But be careful, the phenomenon scheduled to occur on Monday, March 25, is not an eclipse like the others, as it is a penumbral eclipse. This is a relatively rare event, which occurs when the Moon finds itself in the Earth's penumbra. The twilight zone will be slightly illuminated by the sun on either side. The moon will remain in the eclipse zone. “It will still be lit a little, but indirectly.”“, Florent Delefille explains to For this reason, the eclipse can be easily seen in the American continent, in part of the Pacific Ocean, and in part of the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to observe this phenomenon in France, because the moon will be close to setting. before the sun rise. “Extremely unfavorable observational conditions for a phenomenon that is already difficult to observe.”, regrets the Cité de l'espace on its website. However it will be possible to see this event with the naked eye. The color of the moon will change, and will take on a somewhat light reddish color. Because it is the sunlight reflected from the Earth that will illuminate the moon relatively.”concludes Florent Delefille.

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