LAHORE -  Pakistan many other countries witnessed the first penumbral lunar eclipse of the year in the wee hours of Saturday.

It was a partial lunar eclipse which started at 3:34 am in Pakistan and it reached its peak at 5:44 am. It ended at 7:53 am as it lasted for over 4 hours.

The eclipse was witnessed in countries of Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. The next lunar eclipse would be witnessed on 31st August.

The first solar eclipse of the year would be witnessed on 26 February but it would not occur in Pakistan.

A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon align in an almost straight line.

When this happens, the Earth blocks some of the Sun's light from directly reaching the Moon's surface, and covers a part of the Moon with the outer part of its shadow, also known as the penumbra.

The second lunar eclipse of the year will take place on between the night of 7th and 8th August.

This kind of eclipse happens between 0 and 9 times per century on average. The last one took place on March 14, 2006. The next is due in August 29, 2059.

A total lunar eclipse of the moon happens when the inner part of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra, falls on the moon’s face.

At mid-eclipse, the entire moon is in shadow and can appear blood red

The first solar eclipse of year will also take place on 26th February 2017 whereas the second is scheduled to take place on 21st August 2017.