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HomeTechnologyHow to view the penumbral lunar eclipse today

How to view the penumbral lunar eclipse today

Here is how you can view the penumbral lunar eclipse happening on Thursday, May 4, including timings and what you can expect.

Full moonThe side of the Moon we see from the Earth as imaged by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. (NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)

Unlike the hybrid solar eclipse last month, the penumbral lunar eclipse happening today will be visible to viewers in India. But since it is a penumbral eclipse, it might be a little difficult to spot unless you know exactly what to look for.

What time is the penumbral lunar eclipse?

The Moon should pass through the Earth’s shadow between 8.45 PM IST on Thursday, May 4 and 1.02 AM IST on Friday, May 5, according to the astronomy guide website In The Sky. It should be visible across the world in all locations where the Moon is above the horizon during the eclipse. This includes Antarctica, Asia, Russia, Africa and Oceania.

The time of maximum eclipse will be 10.54 PM, when the Moon will almost completely be covered by the Earth’s penumbra, or the outer region of its shadow.

How do I spot the lunar eclipse?

All lunar eclipses begin and end as penumbral eclipses. This is because the Moon typically enters the Earth’s penumbra first as the eclipse begins and exits it the last. During some eclipses, the Moon will also move through the Earth’s darker inner shadow, or umbra, resulting in a partial or a total eclipse.

Visibility map of the lunar eclipse on May 5. (Image courtesy: In the Sky)

Unlike total and partial lunar eclipses, penumbral eclipses are quite tricky to spot. Since the penumbra is much fainter than the very dark umbra, it is very difficult to tell a penumbral lunar eclipse from a normal full Moon. It will only be visible with very observant eyes or in carefully controlled photographs.

When viewing it from New Delhi, the lunar eclipse should be visible in the southeastern part of the time. At the time of the greatest eclipse, at 10.54 PM on May 4, the Moon should be about 40 degrees above the horizon.

How a penumbral lunar eclipse works. (Image credit: NASA)

Unlike a solar eclipse, it is safe to directly view a lunar eclipse. In fact, you can also make use of viewing instruments like telescopes or binoculars if so inclined.

© IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd

First published on: 05-05-2023 at 00:00 IST



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