A shallow partial lunar eclipse graces the night sky on October 28. This is going to be the biggest lunar eclipse until 2025, even if it’s not as spectacular as we’d like it to be. No need for fancy equipment to observe the eclipse, just equip your smartphone with apps like Eclipse Guide and Sky Tonight, and delve into this article to uncover all the details on this upcoming lunar eclipse!
What is a partial lunar eclipse?
A partial lunar eclipse is when a portion of the Moon moves into the Earth’s darkest shadow (called the umbra), making the Moon look partially darkened. Although not as vivid as a total lunar eclipse (also known as a Blood Moon), this event can still be observed with the naked eye. For more information on different types of lunar eclipses, read our separate article. Here, we will discuss the partial lunar eclipse occurring in October 2023.
October 2023 lunar eclipse: time & location
What time is the lunar eclipse on October 28, 2023?
The lunar eclipse will be visible from anywhere in the night part of the world. Some locations will see the entire eclipse, while others will see only part of it, as the Moon rises later or sets earlier there. Note that the timeline is in Greenwich Mean Time, so don’t forget to convert it to your local time.
- Penumbral eclipse begins on October 28 at 18:01 GMT;
- Partial eclipse begins at 19:35 GMT;
- Partial eclipse reaches a maximum at 20:14 GMT;
- Partial eclipse ends at 20:52 GMT;
- Penumbral eclipse ends at 22:26 GMT.
The whole eclipse lasts for 4 hours and 25 minutes; the partial eclipse lasts for 1 hour and 18 minutes.
Where is the lunar eclipse visible in October 2023?
The entire eclipse will be visible from the East of the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
At least part of the eclipse will be visible from all of Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, North America, much of South America, the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, the Arctic, and Antarctica.
Where to see the eclipse in my location?
To find out if the eclipse is visible from your exact location, use the free astronomy app Sky Tonight. Just type “lunar eclipse” in the search field and tap the matching result to see the visibility times for your location (if the event isn’t visible from where you live, you’ll see a note about it below the “Global Visibility” times). Tap the target button to see the location of the eclipsed Moon on the sky map. To find out where the Moon will be in the real sky above you during the eclipse — tap the compass button and follow the white arrow until you see the Moon on the screen. Note this location and plan your eclipse viewing night in advance.
What will the eclipse look like?
During the partial eclipse, a part of the Moon will appear darkened, as if someone had taken “a bite” out of it. The event will be visible to the naked eye, but you’ll need to pay close attention because this one partial eclipse will be quite subtle. Only a small part of the Moon will be hidden behind the Earth’s darkest umbral shadow, while the rest will be covered by a lighter penumbral shadow, making the Moon’s surface only slightly darker.
At maximum, approximately 6% of the Moon’s surface will be covered by the Earth’s umbra. This means that only a small portion of the Moon will be in complete darkness during this partial lunar eclipse.
Lunar eclipse magnitude
To determine how much of a “bite” the Earth’s shadow will take during the partial lunar eclipse, we need to look at the eclipse magnitudes. These magnitudes measure the fraction of the Moon’s diameter that will be obscured by the Earth’s shadow. There are two types of magnitudes — umbral and penumbral, which are related to the umbral and penumbral shadows.
For this partial lunar eclipse, the umbral magnitude is 0.122 and the penumbral magnitude is 1.118. For better understanding, the maximum possible umbral magnitude is 1.0 and the maximum penumbral magnitude is 2.0, which corresponds to a total lunar eclipse.
Although the magnitudes of this eclipse may not be exceptionally high, it is still the largest lunar eclipse until 2025. While we may have hoped for a more spectacular display, for now, let’s enjoy what we have.
What will the eclipse look like from my location?
If you want to see what the Moon will look like from your location, check out the interactive maps in the Eclipse Guide app. The app shows the Moon’s appearance during the eclipse, eclipse phases with timings for your timezone, best viewing locations, and more. Even if you can’t see this particular eclipse, the app gives you a list of upcoming solar and lunar eclipses for the next few years, so you can find the one that is observable from your location.
How to watch the lunar eclipse?
You don’t need any special equipment to watch the lunar eclipse — the darkening of the Moon’s surface will be visible to the naked eye. Just make sure you’re comfortable for a night of stargazing. Dress warmly, bring a thermos of a hot drink, a comfy chair, and a cozy blanket. Use the Sky Tonight app to figure out where the Moon will be during the eclipse, so you can find the perfect spot for the best view. And check out the Eclipse Guide app to know the exact timing of the eclipse in your area. Don’t forget to invite your loved ones to join you for this amazing experience. To get fully prepared for observing, test your knowledge of solar and lunar eclipses with our entertaining quiz!
When is the next lunar eclipse?
The next lunar eclipse will take place on March 25, 2024. It will be a penumbral lunar eclipse. The next total lunar eclipse, or a Blood Moon, won’t be seen until March 14, 2025. Find out more about the upcoming lunar and solar eclipses in our infographic.
Partial lunar eclipse in October 2023: Conclusion
On the night of October 28, 2023, observers in eastern South and North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia will see a partial lunar eclipse. Up to 6% of the Moon’s surface will be covered by the Earth’s darkest shadow. Even though it’s not much, this is still the biggest lunar eclipse until 2025. Use the astronomy apps Sky Tonight and Eclipse Guide to prepare for observing this lunar eclipse.
We wish you clear skies and successful observations!
Text Credit: Vito Technology, Inc.