In 2023, Earth will experience two lunar eclipses. The next lunar eclipse will be a penumbral lunar eclipse on May 5 and will be visible across parts of Africa, Asia and Australia. The second will be a partial lunar eclipse on October 28 and will be visible across parts of E. Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia
Lunar eclipses occur when Earth is positioned 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.
The last total lunar eclipse that occurred on November 8, 2022, thrilled skywatchers worldwide, the next total lunar eclipse — also known as a blood moon lunar eclipse — won't happen until March 13/14, 2025.
Daisy is Space.com's reference writer since February 2022. She has written numerous skywatching reference articles including our lunar eclipse reference page and how to see and track the International Space Station.
There are three types of lunar eclipses depending on how the sun, Earth and moon are aligned at the time of the event.
- Total lunar eclipse: Earth's shadow is cast across the entire lunar surface.
- 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 (opens in new tab).
- 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 May 5
The next lunar eclipse will happen on May. 5, 2023.
Exactly when the lunar eclipse will be visible depends on where you are located but Time and Date says (opens in new tab) the penumbral eclipse will begin on May. 5 at 10:11 a.m. EST (1511 GMT), the maximum eclipse will be reached at 12:22 p.m. EST (1722 GMT) and the penumbral eclipse will end at 14:31 p.m. EST (1931 GMT). The overall duration of the eclipse is 4 hours and 18 minutes.
According to TimeandDate.com, at least some parts of the next lunar eclipse should be visible in South/East Europe, Much of Asia, Australia, Africa, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Antarctica.
To find out if the next total lunar eclipse (Nov. 8) is visible from your location check out this interactive map from TimeandDate.com (opens in new tab).
If you're clouded out or unable to see the event in person, we will show you how to watch the event online via webcasts. Details on how to watch the May lunar eclipse will be released on Space.com closer to the time.
Partial lunar eclipse October 28
The second lunar eclipse of 2023 will be a partial lunar eclipse on October 28.
Exactly when the lunar eclipse will be visible depends on where you are located but Time and Date says the partial eclipse begins at 14:35 p.m. (1935 GMT), the maximum eclipse occurs at 15:14 p.m. EST (2014 GMT) and the partial eclipse will end at 15:52 p.m. EST (2052 GMT). The faint penumbral lunar eclipse is visible for an hour or so either side of the partial lunar eclipse. The overall duration of the lunar eclipse will be 4 hours and 25 minutes.
According to Time and Date, at least some parts of the partial lunar eclipse should be visible over Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, North America, North/East South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Arctic and Antarctica.
To find out if the partial lunar eclipse on Oct. 28 is visible from your location check out this interactive map from TimeandDate.com.
If you're clouded out or unable to see the event in person, we will show you how to watch the event online via webcasts. Details on how to watch the October partial lunar eclipse will be released on Space.com closer to the time.
How to see a lunar eclipse
Lunar eclipses are among the easiest skywatching events to observe.
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.(opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab):
|Year||Date||Type of eclipse||Visible locations|
|2023||May. 5||Penumbral||Africa, Asia, Australia|
|2023||Oct. 28||Partial||E. Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia|
|2024||Sept. 18||Partial||Americas, Europe, Africa|
|2025||Mar. 13/14||Total||Pacific, Americas, W. Europe, W. Africa|
|2025||Sept. 7||Total||Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia|
|2026||Mar. 3||Total||E. Asia, Australia, Pacific, Americas|
|2026||Aug. 28||Partial||E. Pacific, Americas Europe, Africa|
Editor's note: If you capture an amazing photo of a lunar eclipse and would like to share it with Space.com for a story or gallery, send images and comments to managing editor Tariq Malik at email@example.com (opens in new tab).
Want more information on the lunar eclipses of 2022? NASA's total lunar eclipse of May 16 guide (opens in new tab) and the Nov 8 guide (opens in new tab) has further details on eclipse durations and viewing opportunities.
Espenak, F. Full Moon at Perigee (Full Supermoon): 2001 to 2100. Astro Pixels (opens in new tab). Retrieved May 9, 2022.
NASA. Lunar Eclipse Page. NASA. Retrieved May 9 (opens in new tab), 2022.
May 5, 2023. Penumbral lunar eclipse. Time and Date. Retrieved Nov. 9, 2023.
October 28, 2023. Partial lunar eclipse. Time and Date (opens in new tab). Retrieved Nov. 9, 2023.