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Dublin: 17 °C Wednesday 12 August, 2020
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Want to see a bite taken out of the moon? You can tonight

A lunar eclipse will take place tonight, so you’re advised to look up between 9 and 10pm.

WANT TO SEE a ‘bite’ being taken out of the moon?

If you look up at the sky tonight, you’ll get to witness a lunar eclipse, where it will appear as though a chunk is being bitten out of the moon.

The eclipse will occur as the moon passes through earth’s shadow, in what is known as a penumbral eclipse. Skywatchers all over the country will be able to see a small “bite” taken out of the edge of the Moon as it rises around 9pm tonight.

Plus, the moon may also appear dimmer than usual.

“Lunar eclipses like the one tonight happen when there’s a full moon and when the moon is inside earth’s shadow,” explained David Moore, editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine.

We want everyone to go outside tonight from 9pm to 10pm to watch the eclipse, and then let us know what they see!

He explained that the ancient Egyptians saw the eclipse “as a sow swallowing the Moon for a short time”, while the animal became a jaguar in Mayan tradition, or a three legged toad in China.

Some societies thought it was a demon swallowing the Moon, and that they could chase it away by throwing stones and curses at it.

Astronomy Ireland has set up a webpage detailing what will happen during the course of this evening’s eclipse, which can be visited at www.astronomy.ie.

Read: Lunar eclipse visible from Ireland tonight>

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