Lunar Eclipses for 2023

Partial lunar eclipse causes part of the moon to shift red

The awe-inspiring phenomenon of a lunar eclipse has intrigued and filled watchers with wonder throughout the centuries.

We have observed Lunar eclipses since ancient times; they appear in various myths and legends across different cultures around the world. Sometimes they have even been seen as signs of gods or omens of impending doom.

For practitioners of various spiritualities, the lunar eclipse is an event of great importance. It is a time for celebration and spiritual connection.

The lunar eclipse is an incredible phenomenon that has been observed—and sometimes feared—by many cultures throughout history.

Continue reading as we explore what a lunar eclipse is, the two lunar eclipses in 2023, interesting facts about lunar eclipses, and how you can prepare yourself to use your spiritually during this uncommon phenomena.

What are Lunar Eclipses?

A lunar eclipse will be one of three different types: total, partial, and penumbral. During this celestial event, the Moon becomes dimmer for a period, followed by returning to its normal illuminated state.

Every type of lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through Earth’s shadow. When the Sun, Moon, and Earth are aligned, this happens.

Partial Eclipse

A partial lunar eclipse occurs when only part of the Moon enters the Earth’s umbra, or inner portion of the Earth’s shadow. On the Other hand, total eclipses happen when the Moon is completely within the Earth’s umbral shadow, or outermost portion of the Earth’s shadow..

Total Eclipse

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the entire Moon is engulfed by the Earth’s umbral shade. The color of the Moon becomes red like a giant ball of fire as it slowly disappears behind the Earth. The Moon never actually goes anywhere; it simply gets darker and dimmer as it moves farther and farther away from the Earth.

Penumbral Eclipse

A penumbral lunar eclipse follows a total eclipse. The Moon continues to move out of the Earth’s umbral shade and into the Earth’s penumbras shade. As the Moon moves into the shadow of the Earth, it becomes increasingly dimmer.

When the Moon emerges from the Earth’s penumbra, the Moon brightens again. It leaves the Earth’s penumbral shadow and returns to its normal brightness.

Will There be a Total Lunar Eclipse in 2023?

There will be two eclipses in 2023. Both will be partial lunar eclipses.

When is the Next Lunar Eclipse?

Upcoming Eclipse – May 5th 2023

In May 2023, the maximum eclipse will penumbral, only a portion will pass through Earth’s shadow.

The entire eclipse will last approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes. Eclipse is visible for the countries that can be seen from the illustration below:

Path of May 5th 20223 Lunar Eclipse
NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Upcoming Eclipse – October 29th 2023

The second eclipse of 2023 will come in October. This will be a partial eclipse of 2028 Oct 28 occurs at 04:27:36 UTC and lasts for 3 hours and 9 minutes.

The illustration below shows the Moon’s path during this event:

Path of visibility for October 2023 Lunar Eclipse
NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Totality of our Star’s Dark Shadow on Eclipse Season

Overall, the next lunar eclipse will occur on May 5th 2023. This will occur during a crescent phase. So, the moon is going to appear smaller than usual. In fact, it will fill the entire night sky with amazing sights. Mark your calendars, grab your telescope or any other special equipment, and prepare for a rare event!

Later in the year, we will also have another eclipse on October 29th 2023. In order to witness this phenomenon, you’ll want to look towards the eastern horizon if you’re in the western hemisphere. Our cosmic satellite will enter Earth’s shadow, which will cause it to gradually turn darker.

   Sources:
Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC:
   Espenak, Fred. “Lunar Eclipses: 2021 - 2030.” NASA. NASA. Accessed December 15, 2022. 
   https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEdecade/LEdecade2021.html