On May 5th, 2023, the first penumbral lunar eclipse of the year will take place, with many sky watchers excitedly anticipating the event. But the question on everyone’s mind…
Will the Upcoming Penumbral Lunar Eclipse be Visible from Egypt?
According to the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG), a semi-shadow eclipse will occur on Friday, coinciding with the full moon of the Islamic Shawwal month for the year 1444AH. The head of NRIAG, Gad al-Qady, explained that the earth’s semi-shadow area will cover approximately 96.4 percent of the moon’s surface.
The upcoming penumbral lunar eclipse will last for four hours and 18 minutes and be visible from most parts of the world, including Egypt; however, it will be hard to see.
But First, What is a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse?
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon, casting a shadow on the Moon’s surface. There are three types of lunar eclipses: total, partial, and penumbral. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth completely covers the Moon, while a partial lunar eclipse occurs when only a part of the Moon is covered.
A penumbral lunar eclipse, on the other hand, occurs when the Moon passes through the outer part of the Earth’s shadow, known as the penumbra. During a penumbral lunar eclipse, the Moon appears slightly dimmer than usual, but there is no noticeable change in its shape.
Where and How to Observe the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse in Egypt?
Unlike total and partial lunar eclipses, which can be easily observed with the naked eye, penumbral lunar eclipses are often more difficult to see. This is because the penumbral shadow is much fainter than the umbra, which is the innermost part of the Earth’s shadow.
Despite its limited visibility in Egypt, the lunar eclipse will be visible in Cairo. Professor of Astronomy at NRIAG, Ashraf Tadros, explained that penumbral lunar eclipses occur when the moon passes through the Earth’s semi-shadow. In this case, the moon’s luster is slightly less than usual, and its color darkens slightly as well, until it emerges from the semi-shadow of the Earth.
Tadros continued that this eclipse will be visible in eastern Africa, parts of eastern Europe, all parts of Asia, and Australia. As for the date of its peak, it will be visible in Cairo at approximately 10:22 pm. The moon will appear as if it were full from May 3-6, and this is because the naked eye cannot perceive the slight decrease in the roundness of the moon disk during this period.
Tips for Observing the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse in Egypt
Here are some tips for observing the penumbral lunar eclipse in Egypt:
- Find a location with an unobstructed view of the western horizon.
- Use binoculars or a telescope to get a closer look at the Moon.
- Bring warm clothes, as it may be chilly in the early morning hours.
- Turn off any lights or electronic devices that may interfere with your viewing.
- Check the weather forecast and choose a clear night for optimal viewing.