On May 5th, 2023, stargazers in South Africa will have the opportunity to witness a rare celestial event - a penumbral lunar eclipse. During this event, the moon will move through the Earth's penumbra, the outer part of the planet's shadow, causing it to darken slightly.
Unlike a total lunar eclipse, where the moon turns a dramatic red color, a penumbral lunar eclipse is much more subtle. The moon will appear slightly darker and may take on a reddish hue around its edges.
The eclipse will be visible in its entirety from South Africa, as well as parts of Asia, Australia, and the western Pacific. Those in other parts of the world may still be able to catch a partial glimpse of the eclipse.
To witness the penumbral lunar eclipse, viewers in South Africa should look to the sky on the evening of May 5th. The eclipse is set to begin at around 6:44 pm local time, with the maximum eclipse occurring at 8:12 pm. The eclipse will then end at 9:39 pm.
As with any celestial event, it's important to find a clear, unobstructed view of the sky for the best viewing experience. Grab a pair of binoculars or a telescope for an even closer look at the lunar eclipse.
There are only 2 Lunar Eclipses visible in SA in 2023, don't miss this one!