By Alexandria Dennise San Juan
Filipinos can witness a penumbral lunar eclipse on Saturday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.
Based on PAGASA’s astronomical diary, the penumbral eclipse will be visible in the country and will begin when the Moon enters penumbra at 1:45 a.m. and ends at 5:04 a.m. (Philippine Standard Time).
PAGASA said that the eclipse will also be observed in much of Europe and Asia, Australia, Africa, South/East South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Antarctica.
A penumbra, the bureau said, refers to a partially shaded outer region of a shadow that an object casts.
“A penumbral eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the faint penumbral portion of the earth’s shadow. The lunar surface is not completely shadowed by the earth’s umbra (darkest part of a shadow). Instead, observers can see only the slightest dimming near the lunar limb closest to the umbra,” PAGASA explained.
“The eclipse may be undetectable unless at least half of the moon enters the penumbra,” it added.
Meanwhile, an annular solar eclipse will also occur on June 21 and will be visible from a track that crosses most of Africa, southeast. Europe, Asia, and Micronesia.
“An annular eclipse happens when the moon is farthest from Earth. Because the moon is farther away from Earth, it seems smaller and does not block the entire view of the sun, thus creating a ‘ring of fire’ effect,” PAGASA explained.
According to the state astronomy bureau, the event will be observed in the Philippines as a partial solar eclipse which will have a good view in the northernmost areas of Luzon with an “eclipse obscuration” of up to 91 percent, while 52 to 66 percent and 43 to 58 percent in Visayas and Mindanao, respectively.
An eclipse obscuration is the fraction of the Sun’s surface area occulted or covered by the Moon, PAGASA said.
“The public is advised to never look at the sun directly during any type of solar eclipse. Looking at the sun is dangerous and can damage your eyes,” it added.