Astronomy Essentials

Penumbral lunar eclipse March 24-25, 2024

Map of Earth with large black area in the middle shading out toward the sides, with text.
View larger. | Map showing the areas of visibility for the March 24-25, 2024, penumbral lunar eclipse. In a penumbral eclipse, the lighter outer part of Earth’s shadow falls on the moon. So this is a subtle kind of eclipse. You’ll need to look closely to notice it. Image via Dominic Ford from Used with permission.

You can see a deep penumbral lunar eclipse tonight, assuming the moon is above your horizon when the eclipse takes place. The eclipse begins at 4:53 UTC on March 25. That is 11:53 p.m. CDT Sunday night in North America. Greatest eclipse is at 7:12 UTC on March 25 (2:12 a.m. CDT Monday morning). At greatest eclipse, over 90% of the moon will lie inside Earth’s penumbral shadow. But the penumbral shadow isn’t the dark shadow of Earth. It’s the lighter part of the shadow. Some will look at the moon and swear the eclipse isn’t happening. Other very observant people will notice and enjoy the odd, light shading on the moon’s face.

Please help EarthSky keep going! Our annual crowd-funder is going on now. PLEASE DONATE today to continue enjoying updates on your cosmos and world.

Two full moons side by side with the one on the right slightly shaded.
View larger. | Left, an ordinary full moon with no eclipse. Right, full moon in penumbral eclipse on November 20, 2002. Master eclipse photographer Fred Espenak took this photo when the moon was 88.9% immersed in Earth’s penumbral shadow. There’s no dark bite taken out of the moon. A penumbral eclipse creates only a dark shading on the moon’s face. Image via Fred Espenak. Used with permission.

Penumbral lunar eclipse

Penumbral eclipse begins at 4:53 UTC on March 25, 2024. That is 11:53 p.m. CDT on March 24 in North America.
Greatest eclipse is at 7:12 UTC on March 25 (2:12 a.m. CDT) with a penumbral magnitude of 0.9577. In other words, at greatest eclipse, nearly all of the moon will be inside the Earth’s outer penumbral shadow. The moon will never go into Earth’s darker umbral shadow. So it will never seem as if a dark bite has been taken out of the moon. Instead, it’ll be a subtle darkened shading on the moon, which, at mid-eclipse, will cover almost the entire moon.
Penumbral eclipse ends at 9:33 UTC on March 25 (4:33 a.m. CDT).
Duration of eclipse: This is a deep penumbral lunar eclipse with a duration of 279.9 minutes.
Note: A penumbral lunar eclipse is the most subtle kind of lunar eclipse. Will you notice it’s taking place? Some people say the shadow on the moon won’t be detected until the disk of the moon is immersed in about 2/3 of the penumbral shadow. On the other hand, others notice it right away. It depends on your atmospheric conditions, your visual acuity and how observant you are, .

The full moon and eclipses

If this full moon were truly opposite the sun, there’d be a total umbral eclipse of the moon. That is, the darkest part of Earth’s shadow – the umbra – would cover the moon at mid-eclipse. But this full moon in March sweeps to the north of the Earth’s umbra. So no total or partial lunar eclipse in the Earth’s dark shadow can take place.

Instead, the full moon almost fully passes through the Earth’s penumbral shadow. So it’s a very deep penumbral eclipse. At no time will Earth’s dark shadow take a “bite” out of the moon. Instead, penumbral eclipses are all about subtle shadings.

The March 25 penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is in the constellation of Virgo the Maiden.

Find the moon’s path with respect to Earth’s penumbral shadow below.

Diagram: Moon passing through Earth's shadow, and map of Earth with parts marked for the eclipse.
A map for the penumbral lunar eclipse on March 25, 2024. It sweeps across parts of Antarctica, the western half of Africa, western Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Americas, the Pacific Ocean, Japan, and the eastern half of Australia. Areas in white on the map will see the total penumbral eclipse. The vertical line to the left (middle of the white area) notes where 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 TDT (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 2024

The March 24-25, 2024, penumbral lunar eclipse is followed two weeks later by a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. In fact, these two eclipses take 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.

Then later this year, the September-October 2024 eclipse season will feature a very shallow partial lunar eclipse on September 17-18, 2024, and an annular solar eclipse on October 2, 2024.

Maps and data for the total lunar eclipse

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

Penumbral lunar eclipse photos from our EarthSky community

Submit your photo to EarthSky here.

Full moon with a lightly darker area at top left and an arrow pointing to the dark area.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Here is the penumbral eclipse of July 4-5, 2020. As you can see, it’s not very noticeable. Greg Redfern in central Virginia commented: “Taken at maximum eclipse for the penumbral lunar eclipse. May be some shading in the upper left quadrant.” Thank you, Greg.
Five moon images showing progress of dim penumbral lunar eclipse, with time labels.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Soumyadeep Mukherjee of Kolkata, India, captured these images of the penumbral lunar eclipse on May 5, 2023, and wrote: “Last night, on 5th May 2023, we witnessed a penumbral lunar eclipse from Kolkata, India. Last night’s eclipse was pretty much observable with unaided eyes during its maximum. The eclipse continued for more than 4 hours. The image is a sequence of images captured during the eclipse. All the images are captured with the same exposure settings.” Thank you, Soumyadeep!
Full moon with faint shading on one side.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Niccole Neely captured this photo on the morning of November 30, 2020. She wrote: “I woke up at 2:30 this morning to catch the Beaver Moon penumbral lunar eclipse in Phoenix, Arizona.” Thank you, Niccole!
Full moon in penumbral eclipse; there is a shading on the top right side of the moon.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Nils Ribi in Sun Valley, Idaho, caught the November 30, 2020, penumbral lunar eclipse. He wrote: “The penumbral eclipse of the full moon, November 30, 2020, at 2:43 a.m., the time of greatest eclipse, in Sun Valley, Idaho. It was nice to see that the eclipse was not that faint here.” Thank you, Nils!

More penumbral lunar eclipse photos

Photo of the full moon with a slightly shadowed southeast curve from penumbral lunar eclipse.
A full moon during a penumbral lunar eclipse with a slightly shadowed southeast curve. Image via NASA.
On the left, a full moon. On the right, a full moon with a shadowed northern edge from penumbral eclipse.
A penumbral lunar eclipse on November 20, 2002 in Dunkirk, Maryland. Image via Fred Espenak.

More resources

Total lunar eclipse: Brightly colored covers of three large-format books.
For the best in eclipse info – from a world expert – visit Fred’s publications page.

Bottom line: A penumbral lunar eclipse – lasting over four hours – happens overnight on March 24-25, 2024. It’s visible from Japan, the eastern half of Australia, the Americas, the western half of Africa, western Europe – and several oceans and parts of Antarctica.
Visit to get an exact timing of the eclipse from your location.

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

March 24, 2024
Astronomy Essentials

Like what you read?
Subscribe and receive daily news delivered to your inbox.

Your email address will only be used for EarthSky content. Privacy Policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

More from 

Marcy Curran

View All