The moon is seen during a total lunar eclipse from Cairo June 15, 2011. — Reuters

The moon is seen during a total lunar eclipse from Cairo June 15, 2011. — Reuters

The world is about to witness the first penumbral lunar eclipse — a phenomenon that occurs when the moon is covered by Earth’s lighter or outermost shadow and usually difficult to observe — of the year 2023 on the night of May 5 and 6.

Lunar eclipses occur when Earth is positioned between the sun and the moon and casts a shadow across the surface of the moon. They can only occur during a full moon and make for an interesting skywatching target.

Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has also confirmed that the phenomenon is going to take place today and will be visible in different parts of the world including Pakistan.

A brief statement by the PMD said that the eclipse will start at 8:14pm and end at 12:32am.

The different phases of solar eclipse will occur at:

  • Penumbral Eclipse begins at 8:14pm PST on May 5
  • Greatest Eclipse will occur at 22:23pm PST on May 5
  • Penumbral Eclipse ends at 12:32am PST on May 6

As per the PMD, apart from Pakistan, it will be visible from South/East Europe, much of Asia, Australia, Africa, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Antarctica.

A report published on stated that the second partial lunar eclipse will occur on October 28. It will be visible across parts of Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

The last total lunar eclipse that occurred on November 8, 2022, thrilled skywatchers worldwide.

The report said that the next total lunar eclipse — also known as a blood moon lunar eclipse — won’t happen until March 13-14, 2025.

It should be noted that there are three types of lunar eclipses depending on how the Sun, Earth and moon are aligned at the time of the event.

  • Total lunar eclipse — Earth’s shadow is cast across the entire lunar surface.
  • Partial lunar eclipse — Only part of the moon enters Earth’s shadow, which may look like it is taking a “bite” out of the lunar surface
  • Penumbral lunar eclipse — the faint outer part of Earth’s shadow is cast across the lunar surface

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