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When to view the Total Lunar Eclipse

Copyright ESA/CESAR–M.Castillo

On the night between Sunday 20 and Monday 21 January, a good fraction of the world’s population will be able to look up see our bright Moon slowly turn dark orange. The phenomenon known as a total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes directly between the Moon and the Sun, hiding the light that illuminates the surface of our satellite.

As the Moon passes through the shadow of Earth it appears in orange and red hues. This is because a small portion of sunlight is refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere and mostly red light reaches the Moon. It is also why the total lunar eclipse is often called a ‘blood moon’.

If you live in Europe (or in western Africa) and want to watch the spectacle on Monday, it is recommended you get up early and allow plenty of time. The whole lunar eclipse will last about five hours, and the total eclipse about one hour.

For the best possible view, choose a site that offers an unobstructed view to the west and northwest. The phenomenon will also be visible from North and South America in the late hours of Sunday or early hours of Monday, depending on your location.

In central Europe, the eclipse begins around 03:36 CET on Monday morning but the initial passing into the light part of Earth’s shadow, or penumbra, will be barely visible. The times below are valid for the Central European Time zone and will differ slightly depending on your location. Find exact times for your location on this website.

EventUTC TimeTime in Penrith*Visible in Penrith
Penumbral Eclipse begins21 Jan, 02:36:2921 Jan, 02:36:29Yes
Partial Eclipse begins21 Jan, 03:33:5421 Jan, 03:33:54Yes
Full Eclipse begins21 Jan, 04:41:1721 Jan, 04:41:17Yes
Maximum Eclipse21 Jan, 05:12:1421 Jan, 05:12:14Yes
Full Eclipse ends21 Jan, 05:43:1521 Jan, 05:43:15Yes
Partial Eclipse ends21 Jan, 06:50:3921 Jan, 06:50:39Yes
Penumbral Eclipse ends21 Jan, 07:48:0221 Jan, 07:48:02Yes

* The Moon is above the horizon during this eclipse, so with good weather conditions in Penrith, the entire eclipse is visible.

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