If you missed out on the penumbral lunar eclipse on Friday, don't fret too much, these types of events happen on the reg — that's the thing about space patterns. But if you're already wondering when the next lunar eclipse is, I'm happy to tell you that not only is there another lunar eclipse coming, but this next one will have visibility in the Americas — unlike last week's eclipse that was only visible in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the western Pacific Ocean. On February 11, 2017, there will be another penumbral lunar eclipse, visible from the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia — super close to Valentine's Day!
While any type of changes in the sky can be exciting to see — let's be real, we're all obsessed with space and the ways in which it affects us here — the penumbral eclipse (which only occurs during a full moon) is the least noticeable type of eclipse. To the naked eye, one might be unable to notice the affect it has on the full moon at all. If you're watching for it, or if you're a seasoned moon-gazer, at the peak of the event, you might notice a subtle dark shading over the moon's surface. So, it's not exactly Instagrammable, if that's what you're wondering.
If you're super patient, you'll be happy to know that there will be a much more noticeable moon event on August 7, 2017, when a partial lunar eclipse takes over, visible from Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. During a partial lunar eclipse, the Earth and the moon are not totally aligned and so the Earth's shadow only hides part of the moon. Space.com describes the visual as looking like "a bite [taken] out of the moon" — which is more likely to appear Instagrammable than the penumbral eclipse. C'mon, that's totally what you're wondering!
And if you're really, really superhumanly patient, you can wait all the way until January 31, 2018, when a total eclipse (not of the heart) will take place. This total eclipse will be visible from Asia, Australia, Pacific Ocean and western North America — a very noticeable and exciting New Year's Eve treat that might be well worth the wait — and totally Instagrammable. The moon, in a more direct shadow of the Earth, will go from its natural bright appearance to a dim gray that will totally catch your attention.
To be best prepared for these harder-to-see events, astronomers suggest you find access to a telescope, a pair of binoculars or a super zoom lens — though with many eclipses that take place on clear skies, a simple glance upward will do. You should also check out your location on the Eclipse Calculator so you can find the best time to start looking. Luckily for you, you have a bit of time to get your hands on these tools!