Animated image of a lunar eclipse

When:

Sunday, May 15 - Monday, May 16, totality begins at 11:29 p.m. EDT (8:29 p.m. PDT)

Where:

Night sky (see overview for notes on visibility)

Target Audience:

General audience

Overview:

Watch one of the sky’s most dazzling shows May 15-16, when the Sun, Earth, and Moon align creating a total lunar eclipse. Weather permitting, the lunar eclipse will be visible in North and South America, as well as Africa, Europe. Remember, unlike a solar eclipse, you do NOT need special glasses to view a lunar eclipse.

Timeline

Viewers in the most western parts of the continental U.S. will have to wait until the Moon rises above the horizon to see the eclipse, which will already be underway, so times are listed in the Eastern and Central time zone.

  • 9:32 p.m. EDT (8:32 p.m. CDT) - The edge of the Moon will begin entering the penumbra. You'll likely only notice dim shading (if anything at all).
  • 10:28 p.m. EDT (9:28 p.m. CDT) - The edge of the Moon will begin entering the umbra and significant darkening will be noticeable. West Coast viewers, keep your eyes on the eastern horizon for the Moon to rise sometime between 7:20 and 8:40 PDT, depending on your location.
  • 11:29 p.m. EDT (10:29 p.m. CDT) - The Moon will be completely inside the umbra, marking the beginning of the total lunar eclipse, also known as totality. Viewers in the most western parts of the continental U.S. will see the Moon rise as totality is beginning. Visibility not so great? Check out the live simulation below:

    This interactive shows a real-time simulated view of the Moon from space. Use your mouse and the controls at the bottom of the screen to move around and explore more of the Moon and the solar system.

  • 12:12 a.m. EDT (11:12 p.m. CDT) – The Moon will be halfway through its path across the umbra, marking the moment of greatest eclipse, when the moon turns reddish-orange.
  • 12:54 a.m. EDT (11:54 p.m. CDT) - The edge of the Moon will begin exiting the umbra and moving into the opposite side of the penumbra.
  • 1:55 a.m. EDT (12:55 a.m. CDT) - The Moon will be completely outside of the umbra and will begin exiting the penumbra until the eclipse officially ends.

Visit the Teachable Moments article at the link below to learn more about each phase of the eclipse, what to expect, what causes eclipses, and the role they play in space exploration.

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Events are based on visibility in the Northern Hemisphere. Dates and clock times are for the Eastern time zone unless otherwise noted.