Penumbral moon eclipse: what it is, when to look at it

Get ready to look at the sky. On June 5, one of the most anticipated astronomical events of 2020 will take place, and which we can also observe here in Italy: thepenumbral moon eclipse. It will not be as spectacular as the eclipses of 27 July 2018, defined the longest of the century, and of January 2019, but the penumbral ones are rare eclipses, and therefore full of charm.

But what exactly is a penumbral moon eclipse? Unlike the “normal” eclipse of the Moon, which occurs when the Earth is between the Sun and the Moon, and is perfectly aligned with the two celestial bodies, the penumbral one occurs when the moon it only begins to cross the outermost part of the shadow cone that Earth casts into space, the twilight conein fact. And therefore we will not be totally in the dark!

When can we see it? Although less intense and hardly noticeable from the Earth compared to the “classic” eclipses of the Moon, total or partial, the penumbral moon eclipse will be visible in Italy from 7pm approximately, when the Moon (in full moon) starts to rise from east-south-east, and that will also be the moment when the Moon reaches its maximum darkening inside the penumbra cone. In detail: the Moon will enter the penumbra at 5.45pm, the central moment of the eclipse will occur at 7.45pm, and then the satellite will exit the penumbra at 9.14pm.

What will be seen? The eclipse of June 5 will make the Full moon a little less bright, and a little more blurred, but it is an eclipse of partial penumbra, for this reason the phenomenon will be hardly visible. A curiosity: the full moon in June had been renamed Strawberry Moon, Strawberry moon, by the Algonchini Native Americans because it coincided with the strawberry harvesting period, while in Europe the last full moon of spring was also called Moon of Roses or Honeymoon.

What does astrology say? The lunar eclipse in general for astrology represents a moment of rebirth, new beginnings and awareness. The eclipse of June 5 is an unspectacular phenomenon, but full of meanings. The Moon opposite the Sun in Gemini will form the lunar eclipse with the Sagittarius, daring sign of fire and squared with Mars, the planet associated with action, dynamism, aggression. And this will lead to a moment of introspection which could bring out feelings of anger or repressed emotions. Astrologers recommend keeping impulsiveness under control. But even the strongest emotions, if well channeled, can lead to useful thoughts and actions for us and for others, especially in these difficult moments of health emergency and social tension. Our silver satellite, a symbol of femininity, creativity and intuition, offers us a starting point to reflect on what is happening in the world: with the nose upwards (clouds permitting), but with the feet firmly planted on the ground.