It's normal to look forward to new moments in your life, especially when certain events only come once or twice a year. If you're someone who loves astronomy, you likely know this sensation all too well: Waiting for the next time an astronomical event occurs, for example, can take months or even years. On that note, when is the penumbral lunar eclipse? Well, I have good news for you, stargazers: The next penumbral lunar eclipse we will experience is actually coming up really soon — on Sept. 16, 2016.
Unfortunately for those of us who, like me, are based in North and South America, it seems that we'll have a pretty impossible time actually viewing the penumbral lunar eclipse. Viewing conditions will be better if you are based in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa, however. The good thing is that you are able to livestream the penumbral lunar eclipse, so you won't feel like you're truly missing out any of nature's beauty if you live somewhere it won't be visible.
As Noah Petro, a research scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, explains at Space.com, it's also worth noting that when you're viewing a penumbral lunar eclipse, people don't tend to see as many big changes as they do when viewing a "blood" moon lunar eclipse.
Petro says, "If you didn't know a penumbral eclipse was going on, you might not even notice it." For those of us who are able to view it right from our own backyards, you'll basically be looking for shadows on the moon. While this may not be as dramatic as the moon seemingly changing color, it should still look pretty neat. It's worth noting, though, that you're likely to get the best possible view if you're using a telescope and are in good conditions, such as low pollution and minimal high buildings.
If you happen to miss September's penumbral lunar eclipse, you'll have to wait until next year to catch another one. That's right: According to Space.com, the next penumbral lunar eclipse occurs on Feb. 11, 2017. Just in time for an early Valentine's Day date— after all, what is more romantic than sitting beneath the stars?