May’s Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

Area of visibility of the penumbral lunar eclipse.
Sky & Telescope illustration.
On May 26th, the Moon passes through the outer fringe (penumbra) of the Earth’s shadow. There will be no dramatic change in the full Moon’s appearance — just a subtle shading along the southern third or so of the lunar disk.

The Moon starts to enter the penumbra at 10:13 Universal Time and completely leaves it at 13:54, but observers will not be able to see or time these contacts. Only for about a half hour centered on 12:03 UT will the eclipse be noticeable, and only to those on Pacific Ocean islands or bordering regions (see the globe above). Skywatchers in Japan and Australia can view this event on the evening of May 26th; east of the International Date Line it takes place before dawn on the 26th.

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