On November 8, there will be two astronomical events visible in the Hong Kong sky: a total lunar eclipse and a lunar occultation of Uranus. The total eclipse will be visible in the city between 6:16pm and 7:42pm. During this time, the moon will not completely disappear, but will instead appear coppery red.              

A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth comes between the sun and the moon and prevents the sun’s direct rays from lighting up the moon. During this time, the moon is completely immersed in the earth’s umbra — the fully shaded inner region of the planet’s shadow.

The eclipse will begin before moonrise in Hong Kong, but the moon leaving the earth’s umbra and penumbra (the partially shaded outer part of a shadow) after the eclipse phase will be visible in the SAR until 8:49pm.

The timings of the various phases of the November 8 total lunar eclipse.
The timings of the various phases of the November 8 total lunar eclipse (© Hong Kong Observarory)

Since the moon will be significantly dimmer because of the eclipse, Uranus will also be visible on the evening of November 8 and will be seen slipping behind the moon. While the eclipse will be visible with the naked eye depending on the weather, viewing the lunar occultation of Uranus requires a telescope.

These events can be viewed best in places with unobstructed views to the east, such as Tai Au Mun in the southern part of Clearwater Bay. There are parts of northeastern Hong Kong where one can view these events, such as Sai Kung Pier, Tai Mei Tuk near Plover Cove Reservoir, High Island Reservoir or the Hong Kong Space Museum’s Astropark. There will also be a live webcast of the eclipse for members of the public who wish to view it at home.

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The next eclipse that will be visible in Hong Kong will be a partial lunar eclipse on May 5, 2023. However, the next total lunar eclipse that can be seen in the city’s skies will be on September 8, 2025.

Image header credits: monochrome0403 via Canva

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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