Astronomy Essentials

A shallow partial lunar eclipse on October 28

Map showing areas of visibility of partial lunar eclipse.
View full map. | Map showing the areas of visibility for the October 28, 2023, partial lunar eclipse. Image via Dominic Ford from Used with permission.

Partial lunar eclipse

People in eastern Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia will see a shallow partial lunar eclipse during the night of October 28, 2023.

Penumbral eclipse begins at 18:01 UTC on October 28 (2:01 p.m. EDT).
Partial eclipse begins at 19:34 UTC on October 28 (3:34 p.m. EDT).
Greatest eclipse at 20:14 UTC on October 28 (4:14 p.m. EDT) with an umbral magnitude of 0.12393. So only a small sliver of the moon will fall inside the umbral shadow.
Partial eclipse ends at 20:52 UTC on October 28 (4:52 p.m. EDT).
Penumbral eclipse ends at 22:26 UTC on October 28 (6:26 p.m. EDT).
Duration of eclipse: This is a shallow partial lunar eclipse with a duration of 265 minutes.
Note: Although this is considered a partial lunar eclipse, only a small fraction of the moon will enter the umbra shadow. Overall, most of this eclipse will appear as a penumbral lunar eclipse and the moon won’t change much in brightness or color.

The full moon and eclipses

As a matter of fact, a lunar eclipse can only happen at full moon, because that’s the only time the moon can be directly opposite the sun in Earth’s sky. However, the full moon in October barely passes through the north of the Earth’s dark shadow (umbra), and therefore only a shallow partial lunar eclipse in the Earth’s dark shadow can take place.

However, usually there is no eclipse at full moon. For example, in 2023, we have 13 full moons but only two lunar eclipses and neither one of them is a total lunar eclipse.

Seeing that the October 2023 full moon travels only partially through the Earth’s inner dark umbral shadow, we get a partial lunar eclipse. (See the diagram below.) Not to mention, the penumbral stage of the eclipse is so faint that many people won’t even notice it, even as it’s taking place. From start to finish, the eclipse lasts 285 minutes. However, the moon will only be in Earth’s dark shadow for the partial eclipse a total of 78 minutes. Also, only a small portion of the moon – about 12% – will be eclipsed by Earth’s dark shadow.

Read more: Why no eclipse at every full and new moon?

Diagram: Sun on left, Earth casting shadow, moon in shadow.
In a lunar eclipse, Earth’s shadow falls on the moon. So if the moon passes through the dark central shadow of Earth – the umbra – a partial or total lunar eclipse takes place. On the other hand, if the moon only passes through the outer part of the shadow (the penumbra), a subtle penumbral eclipse occurs. Diagram via Fred Espenak’s Lunar Eclipses for Beginners. Used with permission.

Who can see lunar eclipses

The fact is, a full moon is up only at night. And a total lunar eclipse is visible from all of Earth that is experiencing night while the eclipse is taking place. However, some will see the eclipse better than others, depending on location. For example, some will see it at moonrise or moonset, when the moon is low in the sky.

Of course, lunar eclipses are safe to view with the unaided eye. Even though binoculars and telescopes aren’t required to view a lunar eclipse, they do enhance the view.

The path of the moon during the partial lunar eclipse

The October 28, 2023, partial lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is in the constellation of Aries the Ram. Our second brightest planet, Jupiter, is near the full moon as well.

Find the moon’s path with respect to Earth’s umbral and penumbral shadows below.

Partial lunar eclipse: Diagram of moon passing through Earth's shadow and map showing eclipse visibility.
View detailed chart. | A map for the partial lunar eclipse on October 28, 2023. It sweeps across eastern Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia. Areas in white on the map will see all of the partial eclipse, the line down the middle notes where the greatest eclipse occurs. Shaded areas will see part of the eclipse and dark areas are where the eclipse is not visible. Note the difference between UTC and TD (terrestrial dynamical time, often abbreviated TT as well). Key to lunar eclipse maps here. Image via Fred Espenak. Used with permission.

Visit to get an exact timing of the eclipse from your location.

Eclipses in 2023

On May 5, 2023, a penumbral lunar eclipse was preceded two weeks earlier by a hybrid solar eclipse on April 20, 2023. The fact is, these two eclipses took place within a single eclipse season.

An eclipse season is an approximate 35-day period during which it’s inevitable for at least two (and possibly three) eclipses to take place.

Currently, the October 2023 eclipse season will feature a annular solar eclipse on October 14, 2023, and this very shallow partial lunar eclipse on October 28, 2023.

Maps and data for the partial lunar eclipse

Visit to get an exact timing of the eclipse from your location.

Submit your lunar eclipse photo to EarthSky here.

More resources

Total lunar eclipse: Brightly colored covers of three large-format books.
Thank you, Fred Espenak, for granting permission to reprint this article. For the best in eclipse info – from a world’s expert – visit Fred’s publications page.

Bottom line: A partial lunar eclipse happens during the night of October 28, 2023. It’s visible from eastern Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia.

EarthSky’s monthly night sky guide: Visible planets and more

October 27, 2023
Astronomy Essentials

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