Lunar eclipses 2024: When, where & how to see them

Phases of a lunar eclipse showing the moon turn progressively red.
During a total lunar eclipse, the moon appears to turn red while passing through Earth's shadow. This year features two spectacular total lunar eclipses. (Image credit: Anantha Jois via Getty Images)

The next lunar eclipse of 2024 will be a penumbral lunar eclipse on March 24-25.

The eclipse will be visible to much of Europe, North and East Asia, North America, South America, the Arctic and Antarctica according to

Lunar eclipses occur when Earth positions itself between the sun and the moon and casts a shadow across the surface of the moon. They can only occur during a full moon and make for an interesting skywatching target. 

Related: Solar eclipse guide: When, where & how to see them 

There are three types of lunar eclipses depending on how the sun, Earth and moon are aligned at the time of the event.

  1. Total lunar eclipse: Earth's shadow is cast across the entire lunar surface. 
  2. Partial lunar eclipse: During a partial lunar eclipse, only part of the moon enters Earth's shadow, which may look like it is taking a "bite" out of the lunar surface. Earth's shadow will appear dark on the side of the moon facing Earth. How much of a "bite" we see depends on how the sun, Earth and moon align, according to NASA.
  3. Penumbral lunar eclipse: The faint outer part of Earth's shadow is cast across the lunar surface. This type of eclipse is not as dramatic as the other two and can be difficult to see.     

Penumbral lunar eclipse: March 25

The penumbral lunar eclipse on March 25 will be a very slight lunar eclipse in which the moon passes through the outermost edge of the Earth's shadow. It will be visible from much of Europe, North and East Asia, North America, South America, the Arctic and Antarctica according to

The penumbral eclipse will begin at 12:53 a.m. EDT (0453 GMT), the maximum stage of the eclipse will occur a couple of hours later at 3:12 a.m. EDT (0712 GMT) and the penumbral eclipse will end at 5:32 a.m. EDT (0932 GMT). The overall duration of the eclipse will be 4 hours and 39 minutes.

Partial lunar eclipse: Sept. 17-18

The partial lunar eclipse on Sept. 17-18 will be visible over Europe, Much of Asia, Africa, North America, South America, the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, the Arctic and Antarctica, according to

 It will begin at 8:41 p.m. EDT (0141 GMT on Sept. 18), the maximum point of the eclipse will occur at 10:44 p.m. EDT (0341 GMT on Sept. 18) and the partial lunar eclipse will end at 12:47 a.m. EDT on Sept. 18 (0547 GMT). The total duration of the partial lunar eclipse is 4 hours and 6 minutes.

How to see a lunar eclipse

Lunar eclipses are among the easiest skywatching events to observe.

Top telescope pick!

Celestron Astro Fi 102

(Image credit: Celestron)

Looking for a telescope for the lunar eclipse? We recommend the Celestron Astro Fi 102 as the top pick in our best beginner's telescope guide

To watch one, you simply go out, look up and enjoy. You don't need a telescope or any other special equipment. However, binoculars or a small telescope will bring out details on the lunar surface — moonwatching is as interesting during an eclipse as it is at any other time. If the eclipse occurs during winter, bundle up if you plan to be out for the duration — an eclipse can take a couple of hours to unfold. Bring warm drinks and blankets or chairs for comfort.

If you hope to snap a photo of a lunar eclipse, here's our guide on How to photograph a lunar eclipse with a camera. And if you need imaging equipment, our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography have recommendations to make sure you're ready for the next eclipse.

Fancy taking a more in-depth moonlit tour of our rocky companion? Our ultimate guide to observing the moon will help you plan your next skywatching venture whether it be exploring the lunar seas, mountainous terrain, or the many craters that blanket the landscape. You can also see where astronauts, rovers and landers have ventured with our Apollo landing sites observing guide.  

November 8, 2022, total lunar eclipse beside the Empire State Building, New York.  (Image credit: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

Upcoming lunar eclipses

We will not experience another total lunar eclipse until March 14, 2025. There will however be partial and penumbral lunar eclipses to keep us occupied in the meantime.  

Upcoming lunar eclipses according to NASA:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
YearDateType of eclipseVisible locations
2024Mar. 25PenumbralAmericas
2024Sept. 18PartialAmericas, Europe, Africa
2025Mar. 13/14Total Pacific, Americas, W. Europe, W. Africa
2025Sept. 7Total Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia
2026Mar. 3Total E. Asia, Australia, Pacific, Americas
2026Aug. 28Partial E. Pacific, Americas Europe, Africa

Lunar eclipse FAQs answered by an expert

We asked meteorologist Joe Rao, a few commonly asked questions about lunar eclipses.

Joe Rao poses with binoculars outside.
Joe Rao

Joe Rao is's skywatching columnist, as well as a veteran meteorologist and eclipse chaser who also serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium.

How often does a lunar eclipse happen?

This depends on what type of lunar eclipse you are referring to.  There are two shadows cast into space by the Earth.  A faint outer shadow called the penumbra and a much darker central shadow called the umbra.  Penumbral lunar eclipses happen at least twice each year.  However, in many cases, the penumbra is so faint that, more often than not, most people completely miss out on noticing it when it happens. Umbral eclipses occur about every 2 or 3 years — sometimes twice in a single year.  Since the umbra is dark and well-defined people notice it when the moon moves either partially or completely within it. 

How long do lunar eclipses last?

It depends on how deeply the moon penetrates into the Earth's umbra and how far away the moon is from the Earth.  When the moon is near its closest point to Earth (perigee) it is moving much faster in its orbit as compared to when it's near its farthest point from Earth (apogee). Generally speaking, in the case of a total eclipse, it can last about three hours: one hour for the moon to move completely into the umbra, one hour for the moon to be completely immersed in the umbra and one hour for the moon to move out of the umbra. Totality can vary from just a few minutes to as long as 107 minutes. In the latter case, the moon moves directly through the center of the Earth's shadow while moving at its slowest in its orbit (apogee). 

What's the difference between a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon crosses in front of the sun (at new moon).  A lunar eclipse is something quite different.  It occurs when the full moon passes into the Earth's shadow.

Editor's note: If you capture an amazing photo of a lunar eclipse and would like to share it with for a story or gallery, send images and comments to managing editor Tariq Malik at

Additional resources

Want more information on the lunar eclipses of 2024? Timeanddate's lunar eclipse of March 25 guide and the Sept. 17-18 guide have further details on eclipse durations and viewing opportunities.  

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Daisy Dobrijevic
Reference Editor

Daisy Dobrijevic joined in February 2022 having previously worked for our sister publication All About Space magazine as a staff writer. Before joining us, Daisy completed an editorial internship with the BBC Sky at Night Magazine and worked at the National Space Centre in Leicester, U.K., where she enjoyed communicating space science to the public. In 2021, Daisy completed a PhD in plant physiology and also holds a Master's in Environmental Science, she is currently based in Nottingham, U.K. Daisy is passionate about all things space, with a penchant for solar activity and space weather. She has a strong interest in astrotourism and loves nothing more than a good northern lights chase!