A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the shadow of the earth. For this to happen, the sun, earth and moon must be closely aligned, with the moon located farthest from the sun. Tonight’s lunar eclipse is the first out the total three lunar eclipses scheduled to take place in 2013. The last lunar eclipse was visible on Nov. 28, 2012.
While tonight’s is a partial lunar eclipse, the other two lunar eclipses of 2013, taking place on May 25 (visible from the Americas and Africa) and Oct. 18 (Visible from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia), are Penumbral Lunar Eclipses. Tonight will be the last time Earth’s dark umbral shadow touches the moon’s face until the total lunar eclipse of April 15, 2014.