Penumbral eclipse of the moon

Photo: Philippe Moussette

The penumbral eclipse of the moon on February 10, 2017, compared with the total eclipse that took place on September 17, 2015.

Shortly after the full moon rose on Friday, February 10, there was a penumbral eclipse. A full moon in the month of February is also called a Snow Moon, but for four hours that evening, it looked rather a dull grey and became very dark on one side as it passed through a part of Earth’s shadow.

Philippe Moussette, photographer and president of the Club d'astronomie VÉGA de Cap-Rouge, shared these photos with us. The photo on the left was taken at exactly 7:44 p.m. at the maximum of the eclipse.

He explains that this was not a total eclipse of the moon, as the satellite did not pass through Earth’s umbra, or darkest part of our planet’s shadow, but only through the penumbra, or outer shadow.

To compare it with a total eclipse, Mousette sent these photos of the February 10, 2017, eclipse and the much more spectacular total eclipse of the moon that took place on September 17, 2015. During a total eclipse, Earth’s light is reflected back on the orb giving it a reddish glow and it is called a Blood Moon.