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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 2 December 2020
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A penumbral lunar eclipse is currently taking place and will be visible over Ireland this evening

Tonight will see one of four eclipses occurring in 2020.

Penumbral lunar eclipse over London city lights.
Penumbral lunar eclipse over London city lights.
Image: Yui Mok

A PENUMBRAL ECLIPSE is currently taking place and will be visible all over Ireland for several hours, according to Astronomy Ireland. 

The eclipse is caused when the moon passes through the earth’s shadow but is different from a total eclipse when the moon goes fully inside the earth’s shadow and dims significantly. 

The eclipse which officially began shortly after 5pm will run until shortly after 9pm with it becoming most visible to the naked eye between 7pm and 8pm. 

Astronomy Ireland said binoculars will give stargazers and advantage but no other equipment would be necessary to see the eclipse. 

It also said city dwellers will not be at a disadvantage compared to rural residents as the moon is the brightest object in the night sky. 

Astronomy Ireland is urging anyone who witnesses the eclipse to submit their photographs. 

“Cameras, even smartphone cameras, will give an amazing result because the event is very slow-moving and the naked eye will barely notice the change in the Moon’s light. 

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“However, a photo of the event around 7:10pm shown side by side with a photo of the Moon two hours later when the eclipse is over will show the eclipse effect dramatically,” it said. 

There will be three further penumbral eclipses in Ireland over the coming year. 

The next events will occur on 5 June, 5 July, and 30 November 2020. Tonight’s eclipse, however, is said to be the deepest and best placed of the four. 

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