© Collin Grady from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Partial lunar eclipse

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 at14:21 EDT(133 days away)
18:21 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Eclipses feed

Time:       Altitude: °      Azimuth: °

A simulation of how the eclipse will appear from Newark.

The outer grey circle is the Earth's penumbra, and the inner red circle is the umbra. Any part of the Moon which passes within the red circle will be unilluminated, while any part within the grey circle will appear less bright than usual.

There will be a partial eclipse of the Moon, though it will not be visible from Newark since the Moon will be beneath the horizon at the time.

The eclipse will last from 13:23 until 15:18, and maximum eclipse will occur at 14:21, when 25% of the Moon's disk will lie in shadow (all times given in Newark time).

Eclipses of the Moon are easy to watch with the unaided eye. A modest pair of binoculars will give a superb view of the Moon's surface, but are not required. Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are entirely safe to look at without the need to look through any kind of filter.

They occur whenever the Earth passes between the Moon and Sun, such that it obscures the Sun's light and casts a shadow onto the Moon's surface. The circular shadow cast by the Earth appears as a bite taken out of the Moon during its partial phases.

Sequence of events

The eclipse will begin at 11:51, when the Moon first enters a region of the Earth's shadow called the penumbra. In this outer part of the Earth's shadow, an observer on the Moon would see the Sun partially obscuring the Sun's disk, but not completely covering it. As a result the Moon's brightness will begin to dim, as it is less strongly illuminated by the Sun, but it remains illuminated.

At 13:23, the edge of the Moon's disk will enter the Earth's umbra. This is the region of space in which an observer on the Moon's surface would see the Earth completely obscuring the whole of the Sun's disk, and would find themselves suddenly thrust into darkness.

As an increasing fraction of the Moon's face creeps into the Earth's umbra, it will appear to have a growing bite taken out of it. We will see our planet's circular shadow sweep across the face of the Moon.

The table below lists the times when each part of the eclipse will begin and end.

11:5115:51Moon begins to enter the Earth's penumbra
13:2317:23Moon begins to enters the Earth's umbra. Partial eclipse begins.
14:2118:21Greatest eclipse
15:1819:18Moon fully outside the Earth's umbra. Partial eclipse ends.
16:5120:51Moon leaves the Earth's penumbra
The geometry of a lunar eclipse
The geometry of a lunar eclipse. Within the penumbra, the Earth covers some fraction of the Sun's disk, but not all of it. In the umbra, the Earth covers the entirity of the Sun's disk. Any parts of the Moon's surface that lie within the Earth's umbra will appear unilluminated. Image courtesy of F. Sogumo.

Visibility of the eclipse

Eclipses of the Moon are visible anywhere where the Moon is above the horizon at the time. Since the geometry of lunar eclipses requires that the Moon is directly opposite the Sun in the sky, the Moon can be seen above the horizon anywhere where the Sun is beneath the horizon. The map below shows where the eclipse of August 7 will be visible.

Map of where the eclipse of August 2017 will be visible.
Map of where the eclipse of August 2017 will be visible. Click here to expand.

Further information

This eclipse is a member of Saros series 119. The exact position of the Moon at the moment of greatest eclipse is as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
The Moon 21h09m -15°30' Capricornus 30'15"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 07 August 2017
Sunrise: 05:58
Sunset: 20:04
from 04:10
until 21:51

15-day old moon
Age of Moon:
15 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:12 14:33 20:53
Venus 03:00 10:25 17:50
Moon 20:10 00:33 05:35
Mars 05:37 12:48 19:58
Jupiter 11:14 16:57 22:40
Saturn 16:29 21:11 01:58


Espanak, F., & Meeus, J., Five Millennium Canon of Lunar Eclipses: -1999 to +3000, NASA Technical Publication TP-2009-214172 (2009)

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07 Aug 2017, 14:12 EDTFull Moon
15 Aug 2017, 21:16 EDTMoon at Last Quarter
21 Aug 2017, 14:31 EDTNew Moon
29 Aug 2017, 04:14 EDTMoon at First Quarter

Image credit

© Collin Grady from Las Vegas, Nevada.




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