March Sky Watch

Sky Watch: How to See the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

Look up to the sky during the late night of March 24 to view a penumbral lunar eclipse, a precursor to next month's solar eclipse.

Eric McLaughlin Attractions

March Sky Watch

On the night of March 24, from 9:53 p.m. to 2:32 a.m. the following day, we will experience a penumbral lunar eclipse as the moon passes through Earth’s shadow. There are two parts to Earth’s shadow — the umbra and the penumbra. Within the umbra, the sun becomes completely blocked by Earth. In the penumbra, where this eclipse will occur, the sun is only partially blocked. As a result, the moon will dim only slightly, and you may not even notice. For the best view, look up during the peak of the eclipse at 12:13 a.m. on March 25. This lunar eclipse foreshadows an eclipse of the sun that occurs next month.

Each month, Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory astronomer Eric McLaughlin spotlights a notable celestial event. For information about the observatory, visit