When and how to see the penumbral lunar eclipse on March 24-25

The moon will pass through the outer part of Earth’s shadow (called the penumbra) on Sunday night, March 24-25, 2024, creating a faint lunar eclipse called a penumbral lunar eclipse.

A slight dimming of the moon's brightness during a penumbral lunar eclipse
A slight dimming of the moon’s brightness during a penumbral lunar eclipse. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

A penumbral lunar eclipse causes a slight dimming of the moon’s brightness, and you won’t know an eclipse is happening unless you look at the moon.

During the penumbral lunar eclipse of March 24-25, especially look at the lower part of the moon, which will be much dimmer than the upper part. This will happen because the lower part of the moon will be much closer to the inner part of Earth’s shadow (called the umbra). 

A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through Earth's outer shadow called penumbra
A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through Earth’s outer shadow called penumbra. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Time of penumbral lunar eclipse

Eclipse begin: Penumbral lunar eclipse will begin on March 25, 2024, at 04:53 UTC (12:53 a.m. EDT) when the moon will begin to enter the Earth’s shadow.

Greatest eclipse: The full moon will reach its greatest eclipse (maximum eclipse) on March 25, 2024, at 07:13 UTC (3:13 a.m. EDT) when 96% of the moon will be in Earth’s outer shadow (called penumbra).

Eclipse end: Penumbral lunar eclipse will end on March 25, 2024, at 09:32 UTC (5:32 a.m. EDT) when the moon will exit the Earth’s shadow.

Eclipse duration: Overall the penumbral lunar eclipse will last about 4 hours and 39 minutes.

Visibility of penumbral lunar eclipse

The penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible from eastern Russia, Japan, eastern Australia, North America, South America, western Europe, western Africa, and some parts of Antarctica. See the visibility map below. 

Visibility map of the penumbral lunar eclipse on March 24–25, 2024
Visibility map of the penumbral lunar eclipse on March 24–25, 2024. (Image credit: Dominic Ford from In-The-Sky.org)

Note for the observers

As it is a penumbral lunar eclipse, don’t expect to see a reddish-colored moon, the so-called “blood moon,”  which happens during a total lunar eclipse, or a dark “bit” taken out of the moon, which happens during a partial lunar eclipse.

The next partial lunar eclipse will be visible on September 18, 2024, and the next total lunar eclipse will be visible on March 14, 2025.

You need no instruments, like a pair of binoculars or a telescope, to see a lunar eclipse. However, if you have them, you can use them to enhance visibility.

Happy skywatching!

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About the Author

Ashim

Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of spaceandtelescope.com.

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