SPACE: Partial lunar eclipse daybreak Monday

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A partial eclipse of the Full “Strawberry” Moon occurred around daybreak on Monday, June 4, 2012. In Virginia, the Full Moon set on our western horizon while it was partially eclipsed, just as the Sun rose to our East. The June Full Moon is nicknamed the “Strawberry” Full Moon because of Native American folklore about harvesting strawberries quickly this month.

In the Richmond area, Moonset time is approximately 5:53 a.m. EDT Monday, June 4, but cloud-cover moved in pre-Dawn, obscuring most of our visibility of the Moon! Sunrise to the east is at 5:49 a.m. EDT. The Full Moon “moment” does not happen for us until after the Moon sets, occurring at 7:12 a.m. EDT June 4, 2012.

However, other parts of northeast, northern, and western Virginia had good visibility of the setting partially eclipsed Full Moon, including Charlottesville. Here’s a snapshot of the setting Moon from our Skytracker Camera Network:

Dr. Tony Phillips with NASA says, “The eclipsed moon, hanging low in the west at daybreak on June 4th, will seem extra-large to US observers east of the Mississippi. The fact that the extra size is just an illusion in no way detracts from its visual appeal.”

Image: Science@NASA

Image: Science@NASA

This is the setup in Space that will create the partial Lunar Eclipse:

Image: Science@NASA

Image: Science@NASA

From left to right on this image is the Sun-Earth-Moon in alignment. From our perspective on Earth, this particular eclipse will only be a “partial” lunar eclipse because just a fraction of the Moon will be shadowed by the Earth. At its maximum eclipse, only 37 percent of the Moon will be in the dark.

Image: Science@NASA

Image: Science@NASA

DON’T FORGET to save-the-date for the Transit of Venus on June 5, 2012!

Meteorologist Carrie Rose
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