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Unique But Subtle Lunar Eclipse on the 4th for Oregon, Washington Coast

Published 06/29/020 at 5:44 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Unique But Subtle Lunar Eclipse on the 4th for Oregon, Washington Coast

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(Seaside, Oregon) – It won’t be the most exciting thing we’ve seen over the skies of the Oregon or Washington coastlines, and it may be somewhat obscured by clouds. But it happens on the Fourth of July and it’s a quiet kind of planetary fireworks.

The west coast of the U.S. gets to see a slight lunar eclipse on July 4, starting while there’s still light in the sky from the sunset. It’s called a penumbral lunar eclipse, meaning only the edge of the moon will get affected by the shadow of the Earth.

Meanwhile, the Midwest and the east coast of the U.S. and Canada get to see some darker shades, but not by much.

“Even as a penumbral eclipse is happening in your sky, you might not notice anything different about the moon,” said EarthSky.org. “On the other hand, very observant people can detect a dark shading on the moon’s face during a penumbral eclipse.”

It won’t be like a partial eclipse where you see a chunk taken out of out, nor will it turn orange like some lunar eclipse effects.

The main shadow of the Earth will miss the moon from the vantage point of those on this planet. The full shadow of the Earth is called the umbra while the edge of a shadow is called the penumbra.

Making it still a bit trickier for the Washington and Oregon coasts is that it’s really only visible at moonrise, which happens to the southeast. For Portland, it all starts at 9:29 p.m. on the Fourth of July and lasts for about an hour and 49 minutes. Times will be similar along the southern Oregon coast through the Washington coast.

However, being to the southeast will mean some blockage by coast range mountains along the beach towns until the moon gets a bit higher. The very beginning of the penumbral eclipse actually happens around 8 p.m. when the moon is not quite yet visible on the west coast.

Weather along both coastlines is predicted to be sunny during the day but partly cloudy at night, even on the southern Oregon coast where it will generally be sunnier during the week than up north.

There's another penumbral eclipse for the states in November, and at the end of July will be a spectacular meteor shower. Oregon Coast Hotels for this event - Where to eat - Map - Virtual Tour

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