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Total lunar eclipse and lunar occultation of Uranus on the evening of November 8

26 October 2022

A total lunar eclipse together with a lunar occultation of Uranus (Uranus slipping behind the moon), will occur in Hong Kong on the evening of November 8 (Tuesday). If weather permits, the lunar eclipse can be directly observed with unaided eyes at places with an unobstructed view to the east. However, telescope is indispensable to observe Uranus (see Note).

The coming lunar eclipse will begin before moonrise. At 6.16pm, the phase of total eclipse will begin with the moon entering the Earth's umbra completely (see figure 1). The phase will last for one hour and 26 minutes and end at 7.42pm. During the period, the moon will not completely vanish but will appear in dull red. This is the result of the blue part of sunlight being scattered by the Earth’s atmosphere and the remaining red light refracted onto the moon. The whole process of lunar eclipse will end at 9.58pm. Details of this lunar eclipse are as follows:

Date Time Phenomenon Elevation Direction (Azimuth)
November 8
4.00 pm Moon enters penumbra Below the horizon Not visible in Hong Kong
5.08 pm Moon enters umbra Below the horizon Not visible in Hong Kong
5.37 pm Moonrise -1 degree East-northeast
(72 degrees)
5.43 pm Sunset -1 degree West-southwest
(252 degrees)
6.16 pm Total eclipse begins 8 degrees East-northeast
(75 degrees)
6.59 pm Maximum eclipse 17 degrees East
(79 degrees)
7.42 pm Total eclipse ends 27 degrees East
(82 degrees)
8.49 pm Moon leaves umbra 42 degrees  East
(87 degrees)
9.58 pm Moon leaves penumbra 58 degrees East
(93 degrees)

On November 8, members of the public can watch the lunar eclipse event via a webcast to be jointly hosted by the Hong Kong Observatory, the Hong Kong Space Museum, the Ho Koon Nature Education cum Astronomical Centre (sponsored by Sik Sik Yuen), the Po Leung Kuk Ngan Po Ling College and the Creative Education Unit of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups.

For the latest weather situation and the astronomical observation conditions on November 8, please refer to the 9-day weather forecast issued by the Hong Kong Observatory and the Weather Information for Astronomical Observation webpage closer to the time.

The next lunar eclipse observable in Hong Kong will be a penumbral lunar eclipse on May 5, 2023.


Figure 1  The lunar eclipse process on November 8, 2022

Figure 2  Schematic diagram showing elevation and azimuth of the Moon during the eclipse on November 8, 2022

Note:The brightness of Uranus almost reaches the detectable limit of human eye. When the moon is near Uranus, even with a telescope, the bright moonlight will make the faint and tiny Uranus hardly observable. Yet, when a total lunar eclipse occurs, the brightness of the moon drops significantly and the observation of Uranus would be much easier. Details of the coming lunar occultation of Uranus are available at the Hong Kong Space Museum’s webpage.