Partial lunar eclipse favours Asia, Far East and Australia

A partial eclipse of the Moon will occur on August 7th/8th, 2017. The event will be best seen from eastern Africa, Asia, the Far East and most of Australia.

partial lunar eclipse simulation
A computer simulation of how the partial lunar eclipse will appear at greatest eclipse. Image credit: Skymania

Europe will catch the end of this lunar eclipse with the Moon rising during the event on the evening of the 7th.

From the UK, Ireland and western Europe, the Moon will be in the process of leaving the brighter, outer penumbral shadow around moonrise, so you may not be aware that an eclipse is happening.

From eastern Australia and New Zealand, the Moon will set during the eclipse when it will be the 8th August local time. None of the eclipse will be visible from the United States, Canada or South America.

What is a lunar eclipse?

More about the Moon

Times given in this article for key moments during this partial lunar eclipse will be given in Universal Time (UT). Use Google to help convert from UT to your own local clock. In the accompanying diagram, we have rounded off timings for key moments during the eclipse.

Lunar eclipse 7th August 2017
How the Moon will travel through the Earth’s shadow at key stages of the eclipse. The shadow itself is invisible in space. Image by Skymania
Key moments during the eclipse

The eclipse begins at 15h 50m 02s UT when its south-western limb begins to dip into the outer shadow, or penumbra. This will cause only slight dimming of the Moon, and casual onlookers would probably not realise that an eclipse was happening.

If you were standing on the Moon at this time, the Sun would appear to be partly covered by the Earth.

At 17h 22m 55s UT, with the Moon fully immersed in the penumbra, and that south-western limb looking rather blunt, the Moon begins to enter the dark, inner shadow, called the umbra.

Greatest eclipse occurs at 18h 20m 28s UT, when about quarter of the Moon’s diameter will lie within the umbra. This “bite” out of the Moon will be very obvious and the shadow may have a reddish tinge.

From the region of the Moon inside the umbra, the Sun would appear to be completely blotted out by the Earth.

After this, the Moon begins to exit the dark umbra. It leaves it completely at 19h 18m 10s UT. For the next hour and a half, the Moon continues through the outer penumbra, leaving it entirely at 20h 50m 56s UT, when it will shine as brightly as a normal Full Moon again.

More technical detail about this eclipse can be found in this NASA file (pdf).

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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