IRELAND IS bracing itself for the first lunar eclipse of the year.
According to Astronomy Ireland, a Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon will be visible across Ireland this Saturday, January 11.
Caused by the Moon passing through the Earth’s show, a Penumbral Eclipse differs from a Total Eclipse in that, rather than going fully inside the Earth’ shadow the moon instead skims the edge of it.
The results will be breath-taking nonetheless, with the lower edge of the Full Moon set to noticeable darken for roughly 30 minutes either side of 7:10pm.
Officially set to run from 5:08pm to 9:12pm, the eclipse will be visible across all of Ireland, provided the weather remains clear.
The effect of the eclipse will be subtle to start with.
Astronomy Ireland is advising people look to the skies from 6:40pm to 7:40pm, with the main event scheduled to occur at some point around 7:10pm.
David Moore, Chairman of Astronomy Ireland told the Irish Mirror: “A Penumbral Eclipse is not as impressive as a Total Eclipse.
“Both are caused by the Moon passing through the Earth’s shadow but in a Total Eclipse the Moon goes fully inside the Earth’s shadow and dims by a factor of nearly 1 million in brightness.
“This won’t happen on Friday night. Instead, the Moon skims the edge of the Earth’s shadow and the lower edge of the Full Moon will be noticeably darkened for about half an hour either side of 7:10pm.”
Some cloud and rain has been forecast on Saturday but experts remain hopeful that stargazers will be able to make the most of the phenomenon.