Lunar Eclipse Photos Show Earth's Shadow on Moon

Photographer David Matthews snapped this photo of the penumbral lunar eclipse of Nov. 28, 2012, from Cagraray Island, Philippines.
Photographer David Matthews snapped this photo of the penumbral lunar eclipse of Nov. 28, 2012, from Cagraray Island, Philippines. He used a Canon PowerShot SX10IS digital camera and 8-inch reflector telescope. (Image credit: David Matthews)

When the moon toe-dipped through part of Earth's shadow this week, the minor lunar eclipse was captured on camera by die-hard stargazers.

The lunar eclipse Wednesday (Nov. 28) occurred when the moon passed through the outer region, or penumbra, of Earth's shadow. The so-called penumbral lunar eclipse was not as dazzling as a total lunar eclipse, which can turn the moon a deep blood-red hue, but even the slight dimming effect of Earth's shadow on the moon was a sight to behold for some skywatchers.

Photographer David Matthews watched the lunar eclipse from Cagraray Island in the Philippines, where he used a Canon PowerShot SX10s digital camera and an 8-inch reflector telescope to capture the stain-like shadow on the bright moon. [The Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of 2012 (Photos)]

"Wish you could have seen it!" Matthews told in an email.

Photographer Rg Ferriols created this mosaic of the penumbral lunar eclipse of Nov. 28, 2012, from the Philippines to showcase the event's phases. (Image credit: Rg Ferriols)

Wednesday's penumbral lunar eclipse coincided with the full moon of November. The entire event was visible primarily from East Asia, Australia, Alaska and Hawaii, though portions were visible from western U.S. and Canada. Stargazer Kalani Pokipala watched the eclipse from Hawaii, where it was a welcome sight on a chilly night of 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 Celsius).

"Yes that's pretty cold for us down here in paradise. We're behind the rest of the world, but never without beautiful weather," Pokipala said, adding that the weather only added to the lunar spectacle. "Hope others enjoyed the winter's evening as much as we did reader Peter Jones Dela Cruz sent in photos of the Nov. 28, 2012, penumbral lunar eclipse, taken in General Santos City, Philippines. (Image credit: Peter Jones Dela Cruz)

Lunar eclipses occur when the moon passes on the opposite side of Earth from the sun and crosses through the shadow of Earth. Because the moon's orbit is slightly tilted, the alignments do not occur every month.

The next lunar eclipse will be on April 25, 2013, when the moon will pass through a more substantial part of Earth's shadow in a partial eclipse. Two more penumbral lunar eclipses will occur in 2013, first on May 25 and then again on Oct. 18. There will not be a total lunar eclipse until April 15, 2014.

There will also be two solar eclipses — when the moon passes between Earth and the sun, blocking the sun's disk — in 2013. An annular, or "ring of fire," solar eclipse will occur on May 10, with a so-called hybrid solar eclipse occurring Nov. 3.

Editor's note: If you snapped photos of this week's penumbral lunar eclipse or any other night sky event and would like to share it with for a story or gallery, send images, comments and viewing location information to managing editor Tariq Malik at:

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.