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The beautiful Penumbral Eclipse

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The penumbral arrives less than one month after the Sun briefly vanished behind the Moon on December 26 – an annular eclipse. The roles will reverse next week and this time the Moon will dip in brightness but without disappearing completely.

What is a penumbral eclipse of the Moon?

Lunar eclipses can be divided into three categories: total lunar eclipse, partial lunar eclipses and penumbral lunar eclipses.

During a total eclipse, the Moon completely enters the darkest shadow cast by Earth – the umbral shadow or umbra.

During a partial eclipse, only a fragment of the Moon dips into the umbra and a portion of the Moon appears to temporarily vanish.

A penumbral eclipse happens when the Moon passes through the faint, outer region of Earth’s shadow known as the penumbra.

However, all three events only occur when the Moon is fully illuminated by the Sun – the Full Moon phase of the lunar cycle.

 

When is the first penumbral eclipse of 2020?

The penumbral eclipse coincides with the January Full Moon, also known as the Wolf Moon.

The Wolf Moon will peak on the evening of Friday, January 10, and the eclipse will begin just a few hours before it.

In 2019, there were three solar eclipses and just two lunar eclipses.

The last lunar eclipse fell on July 16 and was a partial eclipse of the Moon.

Before that, on January 21, a breathtaking Blood Moon eclipse turned the Moon a deep orange hue.

US agency NASA said: “A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through Earth’s shadow just as a solar eclipse occurs when part of the Earth passes through the Moon’s shadow.

When can you see the lunar eclipse next week?

The penumbral eclipse will unfold in the nightside of Earth, peaking over the UK in the evening hours.

Eclipsing will start around 5.07pm GMT when the Moon first enters the penumbra.

At this stage, you might not see any significant change in the Moon’s face.

Maximum eclipse, or when the Moon is nearest to the centre of the Earth’s shadow, will peak around 7.10pm GMT.

The spectacle will then wrap up around 9.12pm GMT on Friday.

Because the penumbral eclipse is considerably weaker than the umbra, penumbral eclipses might be hard to see with the naked eye.

Astronomer Deborah Byrd of EarthSky.org said: “This third kind of lunar eclipse is much more subtle, and much more difficult to observe, than either a total or partial eclipse of the Moon.

“There is never a dark bite taken out of the Moon, as in a partial eclipse.

“The eclipse never progresses to reach the dramatic minutes of totality.

“At best, at mid-eclipse, very observant people will notice a dark shading on the Moon’s face. Others will look and notice nothing at all.”

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Asteroid samples escaping from jammed NASA spacecraft – Phys.org

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In this image taken from video released by NASA, the Osiris-Rex spacecraft touches the surface of asteroid Bennu on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (NASA via AP)

A NASA spacecraft is stuffed with so much asteroid rubble from this week’s grab that it’s jammed open and precious particles are drifting away in space, scientists said Friday.

Scientists announced the news three days after the named Osiris-Rex briefly touched asteroid Bennu, NASA’s first attempt at such a mission.

The mission’s lead scientist, Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona, said Tuesday’s operation 200 million miles away collected far more material than expected for return to Earth—in the hundreds of grams. The sample container on the end of the robot arm penetrated so deeply into the asteroid and with such force, however, that rocks got sucked in and became wedged around the rim of the lid.

Scientists estimate the sampler pressed as much as 19 inches (48 centimeters) into the rough, crumbly, black terrain.

“We’re almost a victim of our own success here,” Lauretta said at a hastily arranged news conference.

Lauretta said there is nothing can do to clear the obstructions and prevent more bits of Bennu from escaping, other than to get the samples into their as soon as possible.

So, the flight team was scrambling to put the sample container into the capsule as early as Tuesday—much sooner than originally planned—for the long trip home.

“Time is of the essence,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, chief of NASA’s science missions.

This is NASA’s first asteroid sample-return mission. Bennu was chosen because its carbon-rich material is believed to hold the preserved building blocks of our solar system. Getting pieces from this cosmic time capsule could help scientists better understand how the planets formed billions of years ago and how life originated on Earth.

Scientists were stunned—and then dismayed—on Thursday when they saw the pictures coming from Osiris-Rex following its wildly successful touch-and-go at Bennu two days earlier.

A cloud of asteroid particles could be seen swirling around the spacecraft as it backed away from Bennu. The situation appeared to stabilize, according to Lauretta, once the robot arm was locked into place. But it was impossible to know exactly how much had already been lost.

The requirement for the $800 million-plus mission was to bring back a minimum 2 ounces (60 grams).

Regardless of what’s on board, Osiris-Rex will still leave the vicinity of the asteroid in March—that’s the earliest possible departure given the relative locations of Earth and Bennu. The samples won’t make it back until 2023, seven years after the spacecraft rocketed away from Cape Canaveral.

Osiris-Rex will keep drifting away from Bennu and will not orbit it again, as it waits for its scheduled departure.

Because of the sudden turn of events, scientists won’t know how much the sample capsule holds until it’s back on Earth. They initially planned to spin the spacecraft to measure the contents, but that maneuver was canceled since it could spill even more debris.

“I think we’re going to have to wait until we get home to know precisely how much we have,” Lauretta told reporters. “As you can imagine, that’s hard. … But the good news is we see a lot of material.”

Japan, meanwhile, is awaiting its second batch of samples taken from a different asteroid, due back in December.


Explore further

NASA spacecraft sent asteroid rubble flying in sample grab


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Two flights into Abbotsford have had recent COVID-19 exposures – Maple Ridge News

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Two flights to Abbotsford have each had a recent COVID-19 exposure, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

The agency indicates on its website that the flights involved were WestJet flight 637 from Calgary to Abbotsford on Wednesday, Oct. 14 (rows nine to 15) and Swoop flight 107 from Hamilton to Abbotsford on Monday, Oct. 19 (rows 20 to 26).

The CDC advises that anyone who was on these flights should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

RELATED: Vancouver airport to pilot pre-flight COVID-19 tests for select WestJet passengers

Passengers on domestic flights are not required to self-isolate, but those who have travelled outside of Canada are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival.

Passengers seated on a plane with a case of COVID-19 that was later identified are no longer directly notified of their potential exposure. Instead, anyone who has travelled is asked to monitor the CDC website.

Passengers seated in the affected rows are considered to be at higher risk of exposure due to their proximity to the case.

RELATED: WestJet to offer full refunds for flights cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic



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Two flights into Abbotsford have had recent COVID-19 exposures – Surrey Now-Leader

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Two flights to Abbotsford have each had a recent COVID-19 exposure, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

The agency indicates on its website that the flights involved were WestJet flight 637 from Calgary to Abbotsford on Wednesday, Oct. 14 (rows nine to 15) and Swoop flight 107 from Hamilton to Abbotsford on Monday, Oct. 19 (rows 20 to 26).

The CDC advises that anyone who was on these flights should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

RELATED: Vancouver airport to pilot pre-flight COVID-19 tests for select WestJet passengers

Passengers on domestic flights are not required to self-isolate, but those who have travelled outside of Canada are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival.

Passengers seated on a plane with a case of COVID-19 that was later identified are no longer directly notified of their potential exposure. Instead, anyone who has travelled is asked to monitor the CDC website.

Passengers seated in the affected rows are considered to be at higher risk of exposure due to their proximity to the case.

RELATED: WestJet to offer full refunds for flights cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic



vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

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Sign up here

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