Skip to main content

Strawberry Moon lunar eclipse of 2020 occurs today. Here's what to expect.

Sharp-eyed skywatchers in parts of the world may be able to catch a slight lunar eclipse today (June 5) as Earth embarks on a new "eclipse season," although North American viewers will be out of luck

Today's eclipse will be what astronomers dub a "penumbral eclipse," which occurs when the outer ring of Earth's shadow just grazes the moon. (During a partial eclipse, the moon falls somewhat into Earth's inner shadow; during a total lunar eclipse it falls entirely into that inner shadow.)

But it will take a keen eye indeed to notice the penumbral darkening, which will just tint the lower edge of the moon at the midpoint of the eclipse. 

The eclipse will also be geographically limited, visible only over central and east Africa, Eastern Europe, western and central Asia, and parts of Indonesia and Australia. It will begin at 1:45 p.m. EDT (1745 GMT) and end at 5:04 p.m. EDT (2104 GMT), according to a NASA chart

June full moon 2020: The 'Strawberry Moon' brings a penumbral lunar eclipse

Weather permitting, skywatchers who won't be able to check out the eclipse for themselves can still keep tabs on the moon digitally, thanks to a livestream from the Virtual Telescope Project. The show will begin today at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT), offering lunar views from Rome, depending on the weather there. 

You can watch the lunar eclipse live here and on Space.com's homepage, courtesy o the Virtual Telescope Project. (Weather permitting, of course.)

Image 1 of 4

starry night june 2020

A digital rendering of how the moon will appear during the June 5 penumbral eclipse. (Image credit: Starry Night)
Image 2 of 4

This sky map shows the penumbral lunar eclipse of June 5, 2020, over Sao Paolo, Brazil, at 6:30 p.m. local time. The moon will be in the constellation Ophiuchus, to the left of the Scorpius constellation. At this time, the Earth's penumbral shadow will be moving off of the moon's upper limb.

The June 5 penumbral lunar eclipse as seen from Sao Paolo. (Image credit: SkySafari app)
Image 3 of 4

At the moment of greatest eclipse, on June 5, 2020 at 3:25:02 p.m. EDT (19:25:02 GMT), about half of the moon's surface will be in Earth's penumbral shadow, causing that half of the moon to appear slightly darker than usual. This map also shows the moon's path through Earth's shadow; the larger circle represents the penumbra, while the smaller circle represents the darker, inner shadow called the umbra.

A diagram showing Earth's inner shadow, or umbra, and outer shadow, or penumbra, as they will align with the moon on June 5. (Image credit: SkySafari app)
Image 4 of 4

A map showing where the June 5 penumbral eclipse will and will not be visible from Earth.

A map showing where the June 5 penumbral eclipse will and will not be visible from Earth. (Image credit: F. Espenak/NASA GSFC)

And if you miss today's display, the summer promises another penumbral lunar eclipse on July 5, although that eclipse will be even fainter than this one. That one will be visible from North and South America, as well parts of Europe and most of Africa. The June and July lunar eclipses are the second and third in a series of four penumbral lunar eclipses in 2020 that began on January 10. The fourth one will occur on Nov. 30.

Amazing photos: The Wolf Moon lunar eclipse of January 2020 in pictures

June will also bring skywatchers a second eclipse, this time an eclipse of the sun. On June 21, the moon will pass in front of the sun as seen from Earth but won't completely cover the star, leaving a so-called "ring of fire" around its outer edge. The annular eclipse, as its known, will be the first solar eclipse of 2020. 

Editor's note: If you capture an amazing photo of the lunar eclipse and would like to share it with Space.com for a story or gallery, send images and comments to spacephotos@space.com

Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

OFFER: Save 45% on 'All About Space' 'How it Works' and 'All About History'!

For a limited time, you can take out a digital subscription to any of our best-selling science magazines for just $2.38 per month, or 45% off the standard price for the first three months.View Deal

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: community@space.com.