When is the next lunar eclipse?

A beautiful lunar eclipse could be seen in the US night skies on Sunday night and into the early hours of Monday, with the moon turning a dusty red hue.

Lunar eclipses in general are not particularly rare. Like solar eclipses, they tend to happen about twice a year. However, last night’s event was more unusual in that it coincided with a “supermoon,” a term that refers to when the moon is at its closest point to Earth.

This, along with the red hue caused by the eclipse, led many to refer to last night’s moon as a “super blood moon” or “super blood moon.”

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon, blocking most of the sun’s light from reaching the moon. Some sunlight does hit the lunar surface, but only after first passing through Earth’s atmosphere. This bends the light, making it appear red.

The visual spectacle may have some sky watchers wondering when the next lunar eclipse will be. Fortunately, the wait will not be long.

The next lunar eclipse will occur at night between November 7 and 8 this year. It will be another good one for those living in the US and Canada, with the full eclipse expected to be visible across much of North America, but particularly western parts.

It will also be visible in eastern Asia and parts of eastern Australia.

If you missed the lunar eclipse on Sunday and want to see another one, that will be the one to watch. Once the November lunar eclipse is over, the US won’t see another one like it until March 2025.

The reason for this is that while lunar eclipses technically occur two or three times a year, they are not always “total” eclipses. Sometimes the moon can only partially pass through Earth’s shadow, causing part of it to turn red instead of all of it. Other times, the eclipse can be so slight that it is barely noticeable.

This will be the case until 2023 and 2024, when all five lunar eclipses will be partial or penumbral, when the moon only passes through Earth’s outer shadow.

The other added complexity is that lunar eclipses are not always visible from the same location. One year a total eclipse may be visible across the entire US, other years it may take place on the opposite side of the Earth.

The March 2025 lunar eclipse will be visible across North and South America, according to charts and animations from the time and astronomy website TimeAndDate.com.

lunar eclipse
A photo of a lunar eclipse seen in May 2021 over Auckland, New Zealand. Lunar eclipses usually occur two or three times a year, and they are not always total.
Phil Walter/Getty

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