When Will the Next Lunar Eclipse Be?

Lunar Eclipses in 2021 and phases of the moon.

Find out when the next lunar eclipse will be and the places in the world from where you can see it.


How does a lunar eclipse occur? 

A lunar eclipse is produced by the passage of a planetary satellite, in this case, the Moon, and the shadow projected by the Earth. When this happens, the light reflected from the Moon is interrupted, momentarily obscuring the presence of Earth’s only satellite. Basically, the Earth is located between the Sun and the Moon, blocking the sun’s rays that reach the Moon. This cone of shadow of the Earth on the Moon causes its appearance to darken.

All types of lunar eclipses can only occur in the full moon phase but, because the lunar orbit is inclined with respect to the ecliptic plane, we do not have an eclipse every month when the full moon occurs. Lunar eclipses can be observed from wide areas of the planet, as long as the Moon is above the horizon.

Usually the disappearance of the Moon is not complete; we see the disk illuminated by the light scattered by the earth’s atmosphere with a reddish halo, which gives it a beauty rarely seen. Penumbral eclipses, for example, occur when the Moon enters the penumbra that the Earth produces. 

Recent notable lunar eclipses

A lunar penumbral eclipse that took place in 2017, could be seen in America, Europe, Africa and Asia, but not in other regions of the planet such as Hawaii, Antarctica, South Korea, Japan and Australia. 

The Earth, the Sun and the Moon must be in a straight line or very close to that position and in opposition (full moon), to fully or partially enter the Earth’s shadow.

On August 7, 2017, another lunar eclipse took place. In this case it was partial and it was the last we could see in 2017. Later we waited until 2018 to see a truly spectacular event. It was January 31, 2018 and we were able to enjoy a fantastic total lunar eclipse. Then, on July 27, 2018, another total lunar eclipse took place.

It was a very special day for lovers of astronomical observation, since apart from the total lunar eclipse, the longest of the 21st century, it also coincided with the opposition of Mars. We do need a telescope to observe Mars. To observe it, we just have to look up and look for the slightly reddish “star” in the night sky.

The next total lunar eclipse took place on January 21, 2019 and was visible from Africa, North and South America, and Europe.

In 2020 we had a penumbral lunar eclipse on November 30, 2020, where the Moon passed from right to left through the shadow of our planet.

For the next one, we will have to wait for the year 2021, so we better not miss the opportunity!

Lunar eclipses of 2021

Eclipse DateEclipse TypeEclipse DurationEclipse Visibility
May 26, 2021Total03h07mEast Asia, Australia, Pacific, Americas
November 19, 2021Partial03h28mAmericas, North Europe, East Asia, Australia, Pacific
2021 – Solar and Lunar Eclipses Worldwide. Source: NASA Eclipse.

On May 26, 2021, we will be able to enjoy a total lunar eclipse that will represent the first of the two lunar eclipses that will take place throughout 2021. To catch a glimpse of another total lunar eclipse, we will have to be patient and wait until May 16, 2022. On November 19, 2021 the next lunar eclipse will take place. However, in this case, it will not be total but partial.

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