With all of the excitement surrounding the Venus transit on the afternoon/evening of Tuesday, June 5th, I fear another interesting event in the sky is being overshadowed (pun definitely intended): a partial lunar eclipse the day before.
Certainly, the Venus transit is arguably the biggest astronomical event of the month/year/decade; and not an event to be missed. You will not see another one in your lifetime. Don’t miss it!
However, Full Moon for June is in the early morning hours of Monday, June 4th, 2012. In fact, we would say that the Full Moon occurs on the ‘night of June 3rd.’ This Full Moon is accompanied by a partial lunar eclipse.
In the western US, we will see the partial lunar eclipse in the pre-dawn hours of Monday the 4th, low in the southwest as the Moon sets. Greatest eclipse occurs right about 5 a.m., MDT, with 37% umbral coverage. The eclipse will begin about 4 a.m. and the Moon will set as the eclipse ends, depending on your observation location and view of the southwestern horizon.
So while you definitely must see the Venus transit, I encourage you to enjoy the partial lunar eclipse as welll.
Click here for a link to the NASA eclipse map for this partial lunar eclipse.