Prospects to see May 5 lunar eclipse over Bulgaria are cloudy

There will be a lunar eclipse on May 5 2023, completely visible over Asia and Australia, and it will be seen rising over Africa and much of Europe – mainly Eastern and Central Europe.

In Bulgaria, however, cloudy to partly cloudy weather is forecast for much of the country for May 5.

This will be the deepest penumbral eclipse since February 2017 and until September 2042.

Darik Radio reported physicist Pencho Markishki as saying that the lunar eclipse could be observed from Bulgaria from the moment of sunset, which will be close to moonrise at 8.29pm over Sofia.

The phenomenon will begin much earlier – as early as 6.14pm on May 5, when the Moon will begin to slowly enter the Earth’s penumbra, Markishki said.

The maximum phase of the eclipse will occur at 8.23pm, just minutes before moonrise for Sofia, meaning the Moon will rise with the upper left edge of its disc darkened.

The phenomenon will be visible not long after that, as lunar eclipses from the penumbra are visible for a relatively short period of time around their maximum — up to 45 minutes, depending on the magnitude of the eclipse, the physicist said.

“Because on May 5, the eclipsed Moon will be very low in the east-southeast at the beginning of the so-called civil twilight, we need to look for a vantage point with an open horizon in that direction,” Markishki said.

He said that observers from Eastern Bulgaria could have an advantage – for Varna, the moon will rise at 8.13pm, and therefore the phenomenon will be observed from there for a longer time, including at the time of the maximum phase at 8.23pm. The moon will leave Earth’s penumbra at 10.32pm.

(Photo: Ibrahim Asad)

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