Skywatchers watching the full moon this month could see the first lunar eclipse of 2023.
A penumbral lunar eclipse of the full flower moon occurred on May 5, 2023 and will be visible for much of the Eastern Hemisphere and Antarctica. This type of lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon enters the outer part of Earth’s shadow called the penumbra. Although these eclipses are not as dramatic as a total or partial lunar eclipse, they provide sky watchers with an opportunity to visualize the astronomical alignment of the Sun, Earth, and Moon in real time.
This particular eclipse appeared as a dark 'spot’ or 'blot’ on the Moon’s exterior. Photographers across Asia and the Middle East managed to capture the eclipse in the spectacular photos below.
Related: Lunar Eclipses 2023: When, Where and How to See Them
The second lunar eclipse of 2023 will be a partial lunar eclipse on October 28, followed by another penumbral lunar eclipse in March 2024. Don’t miss our guide to the full calendar of lunar eclipses in 2023.
If you live in the path of a lunar eclipse and want to photograph it, don’t miss our guide on how to photograph a lunar eclipse.
During the full flower moon on May 5, skywatchers in Duhok, Iraq, saw a penumbral lunar eclipse that darkened one edge of the full moon in the night sky.
Some of Duhok’s images captured a very dramatic penumbral lunar eclipse, in which the outer edge of the Earth’s shadow was clearly visible on the Moon’s face.
Photographers in Moscow, Russia saw the red moon darkening as it sat low on the horizon.
The penumbral lunar eclipse was most dramatic as seen from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where one half of the moon’s disk appeared black.
To the east, photographers in China have captured the moon as Earth’s shadow stretches across it.
And in Srinagar, India, moon watchers were treated to a spectacle by a penumbral eclipse, which cast a shadow on one side of the moon’s face.
If you’re hoping to see the moon up close during an eclipse or any other time, our guides to the best binoculars and the best binoculars are a great place to start.
For tips on photographing the night sky in general, see our guides on how to photograph the moon and the best cameras for astrophotography and the best lenses for astrophotography.
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