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Need More Space Action? Penumbral Eclipse March 24 Above Oregon / Washington Coastlines

Published 3/22/24 at 5:25 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Oregon Coast) – March's full moon is right around the corner, and so is its eclipse. (Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection: penumbral eclipse in 2020. No, you can't see a difference)

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For those hanging around the Oregon coast or Washington coast, you should probably head outside around midnight on Sunday or a little ways before, as that's when this penumbral lunar eclipse gets at its height.

According to Jim Todd, astronomy expert at Portland's OMSI, said the penumbral lunar eclipse happens on March 24 - 25, lasting for about four hours. Not that it's going to be hugely obvious: the lower righthand corner will get somewhat fainter, but not much.

This precedes another literally stellar event by about two weeks, one which will be a little more prominent on the south Oregon coast.

Moon above Hug Point, near Cannon Beach

“This eclipse will be visible in parts of Antarctica, western half of Africa, western Europe, Atlantic Ocean, Americas, Pacific Ocean, Japan, and eastern half of Australia,” Todd said. “The March 24-25, 2024, penumbral lunar eclipse is followed two weeks later by a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.” April 2024 Partial Solar Eclipse Coming to Oregon Coast, Washington Coast

There's also a distinct possibility of seeing a wild comet in the skies right now in areas just outside Portland, or in more rural spots like the coast, eastern Oregon, etc. Comet Pons-Brooks has been appearing on and off, visible only with optics, however. Bizarre 'Millennium Falcon' / Comet Pons-Brooks in Oregon Coast, Washington Coast Skies

“Eclipse watchers in Portland will see that first contact with the penumbra occurs at 9:53 p.m. (March 24) with the full moon 25 degrees above the southeastern horizon,” Todd said. The moon will reach its closest to the center of the shadow at 12:12 a.m. (March 25) as it is 40 degrees above the southern horizon.”

Last contact of the Earth's shadow with the moon happens at 2:32 a.m. on March 25, with our sister world at 39 degrees above the southern horizon.

“The March 24 - 25 penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is in the constellation of Virgo the Maiden,” Todd said.

Hoping for more space action above Oregon or Washington coast towns like Depoe Bay, Newport, Westport, Ocean Shores, Seaside or Coos Bay? There's more later in the year, Todd said. A very shallow, partial lunar eclipse will be visible above the region – including Portland and Seattle - on September 17 - 18.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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