A penumbral lunar eclipse will occur tonight, as Earth casts a partial shadow on the full Hunter's moon. Weather permitting, sky observers in Africa, Europe, western Asia, and the eastern parts of North and South America will see part of the southern portion of the moon passing into Earth's penumbra, or the planet's outer shadow, according to Space.com on Friday, Oct. 18.
The moon will be partially shaded for about four hours, with the deepest part of the eclipse occurring at 7:50 p.m. EST. The Earth's outer shadow will cover 76.5 percent of the lunar disk at that moment.
It's called a penumbral lunar eclipse because only the incomplete outer portion of the Earth's shadow, or penumbra, falls across the moon. In a total eclipse, the Earth's umbra, or central portion of its shadow, shades the moon entirely.
Residents in North America will experience the maximum eclipse around the time of the moonrise, which is also just about the time of sunset.
Discovery.com reports the farther east and north you're located, the better your chances of seeing this eclipse. Viewers on the west coast of the U.S. and Canada will be out of luck as the eclipse will occur during daylight hours.
For North American observers, the effects of the Earth's shadow on the moon will be most pronounced towards the lower right corner of the moon.
Don't worry if you miss Friday night's celestial event, there will be a total lunar eclipse occurring in just months on April 14, 2014.