How (And When) To Watch Tonight’s Penumbral Lunar Eclipse In Australia

How (And When) To Watch Tonight’s Penumbral Lunar Eclipse In Australia

On Wednesday March 23, Australians are being treated to another eclipse, just two week’s after the March 9 total solar eclipse. This time, it’s a penumbral lunar eclipse at nighttime. Here’s how — and when — to watch the event in different regions around Australia.

Moon image from Shutterstock

A penumbral lunar eclipse involves the moon gliding through the outer segment of the shadow cast by the Earth. This causes an unusual darkening of the southern part of the moon’s disk.

Australians in the eastern and central states are best placed to watch the event in its entirety. Western Australians, meanwhile, will get the eclipse before the moon actually rises but will still be able to enjoy a couple of hours of lunar oddness.

Here are the times to watch the March 23 penumbral lunar eclipse in Australia:

Time Zone Eclipse Start Mid Eclipse Eclipse End
AEST 7:37pm 9:47pm 11:57pm
ACST 7:07pm 9:17pm 11:27pm
AWST 5:37pm 7:47pm 9:57pm

Unlike a solar eclipse, you don’t have to worry about special equipment: it’s perfectly safe to observe with the naked eye. To watch the eclipse, simply head outdoors during the mid-eclipse phase and point your noggin eastward. Naturally, visibility will depend on the weather so pray to Artemis for clear skies.

See also: How Can I Photograph The Lunar Eclipse?


  • Hmm, i guess that’s why the moon has been a bit brighter lately. I have noticed the last few lunar eclipses that the moon gets brighter.

    • Brighter than when? The previous full moon, or do you mean vs previous days in this cycle? We actually take measurements so can check if you let me know the period in question.

      It doesn’t get brighter heading into an eclipse as a general rule, however when the Moon is full near perigee, it will be slightly brighter than a full Moon near apogee, you can calculate those dates with various calculators, a simple one is here:

      • To me it seems brighter than other full moons, whether it is actually brighter or not i don’t know.

  • I can’t figure it out. I’ve been checking the moon about every half hour from 7:45pm (Qld so AEST) until the cloud arrived at 9:45pm (supposed to be about the max of the eclipse) and I can’t see any difference from a normal full moon’s brightness. Even got out the binos to see if there was some form of darker line across the moon, but nothing.

    As far as I’m concerned, no eclipse happened here.

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