Apollo 11 Launch and Partial Lunar Eclipse to Coincide on July's Full Thunder Moon Tonight: Watch Live

Tonight, a spectacular partial lunar eclipse will grace the skies across many parts of the world on the 50th anniversary of the launch of the historic Apollo 11 moon mission.

The eclipse will be visible from South America, Australia, Africa, most of Europe, and Asia, according to TimeAndDate.com.

Unfortunately, only those in the very easternmost parts of the North American continent will be able to catch a glimpse of this astronomical phenomenon. But don't worry, because the event will streamed live online.

Head over to the TimeAndDate.com YouTube channel where live coverage will begin at 18:30 p.m. UTC or 2:30 p.m. EDT. The stream will feature footage from observatories in Šibenik, Croatia, Perth, Australia, and London, U.K.

Partial lunar eclipses occur when the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon creating a dark shadow (umbra) which blocks sunlight.

Unlike a full lunar eclipse, where the entire moon is plunged into darkness, partial lunar eclipses only cover a portion of our natural satellite because the three bodies involved are not perfectly aligned. In these situations, the outer, lighter part of the Earth's shadow (penumbra) envelopes the portion of the moon not covered by the umbra.

In fact, the penumbra will start to cover the moon's surface before the partial eclipse proper begins. Maximum eclipse is set to take place at 17:30 p.m. EDT—at which point just over half of the Moon will be covered in shadow.

Both full and partial lunar eclipses can only occur during a full moon when the Earth is positioned between the Sun and the Moon. In this situation, the face of the moon that we can see is fully lit up by our star, appearing like a perfect circle.

The reason that lunar eclipses don't occur during every full moon is due to the differences between the inclinations of the moon's orbital path around the Earth, and the Earth's orbital path around the sun.

In North America, the full moon in July is known as the "Thunder Moon" or sometimes the "Full Buck Moon."

Unfortunately, tonight's event will be the last lunar eclipse of any kind this year. We will have to wait till May 26, 2021 for the next one when a total lunar eclipse will be visible from parts of the western U.S., Australia, western South America and southeast Asia, according to timeanddate.com.

Unlike solar eclipses, it is perfectly safe to view lunar eclipses with the naked eye and special equipment is not required, the BBC reported.

Today is an extra special one for space enthusiasts because the eclipse coincides with the anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission launch which took place on July 16, 1969.

On this day, half a century ago, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins took off aboard a Saturn V rocket from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Just four days later, the mission made history when Armstrong and Aldrin landed the Lunar Module Eagle on the surface of the moon and took the first human steps there.

partial lunar eclipse
A super blue blood moon is seen during a partial lunar eclipse near Coit Tower in San Francisco, California before dawn on January 31, 2018. JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images
Apollo 11 Launch and Partial Lunar Eclipse to Coincide on July's Full Thunder Moon Tonight: Watch Live | Tech & Science