Backyard Observatory

A 'Strawberry Moon' Lunar Eclipse Happens Today. Here's How You Can Watch Online.

It's one of three eclipses happening in the next lunar month, but it won't be visible from the US.

stream lunar eclipse
A penumbral lunar eclipse seen from India in January 2020. | Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
A penumbral lunar eclipse seen from India in January 2020. | Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

There's good news and bad news for lovers of celestial events. There are going to be three eclipses inside the next lunar month. That's both rare and exciting. However, only one of those will be visible to viewers in the United States. It's not going to be the "Ring of Fire" solar eclipse, and it's not going to be the penumbral lunar eclipse taking place on June 5.

Instead of a view of the eclipse, viewers across North America will only be watching the June full moon, referred to by some as a Strawberry Moon. You'll be able to stream the eclipse online. Though, it's worth noting that a penumbral lunar eclipse isn't quite as exciting as the total eclipse, which can turn the moon blood red. 

To see this in person, you'll need to be in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, the east coast of South America, and around the Indian Ocean, according to NASA.

What is a penumbral lunar eclipse

A penumbral lunar eclipse is one of three types. In a total lunar eclipse, the center of Earth's shadow, the lumbar, completely covers the moon, casting it into darkness. With a partial lunar eclipse, the umbra makes the moon look like a cookie that Cookie Monster chomped down on. The umbra's dark shadow slides across the surface of the moon, but never fully engulfs it. 

During a penumbral lunar eclipse, the penumbra, the outer edge of Earth's shadow, falls across the moon. This is not as dramatic as the other two types. The moon will darken as it falls under the penumbra, but it doesn't go fully dark anywhere as it does in the other two types of lunar eclipses. EarthSky cites astrophysicist Fred Espenak as saying that about 35% of all eclipses are penumbral.

It's not a dramatic event, even though it can be beautiful. It's absolutely conceivable that if it was happening in your city, you could go outside and not notice, which puts it in stark contrast to a total lunar or solar eclipse. 

How to stream the lunar eclipse

The eclipse will begin at 1:45pm EDT, according to Time and Date. It will reach its maximum at 3:24pm and be over at about 5:04pm. The Virtual Telescope Project 2.0 will be host a free live stream of the event on its website. The site currently says it will start its stream at 3pm EDT. 

It's no total solar eclipse, but for anyone who finds beauty in any full moon, it's worth tuning into for a little bit around the maximum. 

Ready to go stargazing?

Here are all the best stargazing events that you can get out and see this month or you could stay in a stream the northern lights from home. If you're just getting started, check out our guide to astronomy for beginners

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.