Eclipses in 2023: your complete guide
Two solar and two lunar eclipses will occur in 2023. Here’s everything you need to know
Eclipses are awe-inspiring celestial events that have fascinated humans for centuries. In 2023, there will be four opportunities to witness these stunning phenomena – two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses. Here’s what’s coming up:
- April 20, 2023: Hybrid-total solar eclipse
- May 5-6, 2023: Penumbral lunar eclipse
- October 14, 2023: Annular solar eclipse
- October 28–29, 2023: Partial lunar eclipse
Whether you’re an experienced eclipse-chaser or simply a curious observer and nature-lover, these upcoming eclipses are sure to be a highlight of the year. Here’s what you need to know about each of them:
1. Hybrid-total solar eclipse
When: April 20, 2023
Visible from: Western Australia, Timor Leste and West Papua
Max. duration of totality: 1 minute 16 seconds
A rare ‘hybrid’ solar eclipse is a combination of a total solar eclipse and an annular ‘ring of fire’ eclipse. The latter will occur only briefly at sea, leaving those in Western Australia, Timor Leste and West Papua to experience a spine-tingling totality.
2. Penumbral lunar eclipse
When: May 5-6, 2023
Visible from: Asia and Australia
The full ‘Flower Moon’ will be eclipsed by the Earth resulting in a faint penumbral lunar eclipse as the full Moon drifts into the Earth’s fuzzy outer shadow.
3. Annular solar eclipse
When: October 14, 2023
Visible from: USA (Oregon to Texas), Mexico (Yucatán), Colombia and Brazil
Also known as a ‘ring of fire,’ an annular solar eclipse is the result of a small-looking New Moon (when furthest from Earth on its elliptical orbit) momentarily blocking the middle part of the Sun. It will be a huge partial solar eclipse for most of North and South America, though in a narrow path of annularity stretching from Oregon to Brazil it will be possible to see a circular ‘ring of fire’ around the Moon – though only through solar eclipse safety glasses and solar filters.
4. Partial lunar eclipse
When: October 28–29, 2023
Visible from: Europe, Africa and Asia
The second full Moon of fall in the northern hemisphere – the ‘Hunter’s Moon’ – will be eclipsed by the Earth. This time it will, technically speaking, be a partial lunar eclipse, though only a tiny slither of the Moon will pass through Earth’s dark central shadow.
Image creditor: Pexels