The Moon moves ideal to left, going through the penumbra and umbra, leaving in its wake an eclipse diagram with the times at different phases of the eclipse. Credit: NASAs Scientific Visualization Studio
What is a lunar eclipse?
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon align so that the Moon passes into Earths shadow. In a total lunar eclipse, the whole Moon falls within the darkest part of Earths shadow, called the umbra. When the Moon is within the umbra, it will turn a reddish color. Lunar eclipses are in some cases called “Blood Moons” due to the fact that of this phenomenon.
Throughout a lunar eclipse, Earths environment scatters sunlight. The blue light from the Sun scatters away, and longer-wavelength red, orange, and yellow light pass through, turning our Moon red.
How can I observe the eclipse?
You do not need any special equipment to observe a lunar eclipse, although binoculars or a telescope will enhance the view and the red color. A dark environment away from intense lights makes for the very best viewing conditions.
The eastern half of the United States and all of South America will have the opportunity to see every phase of the lunar eclipse. Totality will show up in much of Africa, western Europe, Central and South America, and many of North America.
A map showing where the May 15-16, 2022 lunar eclipse shows up. Contours mark the edge of the exposure area at eclipse contact times. The map is fixated 63 ° 52 W, the sublunar longitude at mid-eclipse. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Scientific Visualization Studio
What if its cloudy or Im not in the seeing region?
NASA will include a live stream of the eclipse from locations across the globe! NASA will also host an episode of NASA Science Live, from 11 p.m.– 12 a.m. ET. Watch here:
What can I anticipate to observe?
UTC (May 16).
EDT (May 15-16).
PDT (May 15).
9:32 p.m., May 15.
— Moon not yet visible.
Penumbral eclipse starts.
The Moon enters the Earths penumbra, the outer part of the shadow. The Moon starts to dim, however the impact is rather subtle.
— Moon not yet noticeable.
Partial eclipse starts.
The Moon begins to go into Earths umbra and the partial eclipse starts. To the naked eye, as the Moon moves into the umbra, it appears like a bite is being gotten of the lunar disk. The part of the Moon inside the umbra will appear really dark.
The whole Moon is now in the Earths umbra. The Moon will turn a coppery-red. Attempt binoculars or a telescope for a better view. If you wish to take a picture, use an electronic camera on a tripod with exposures of a minimum of numerous seconds.
12:53 a.m., May 16.
As the Moon exits Earths umbra, the red color fades. If a bite is being taken out of the opposite side of the lunar disk as in the past, it will look as.
Partial eclipse ends.
The whole Moon remains in Earths penumbra, however again, the dimming is subtle.
Penumbral eclipse ends.
The eclipse is over.
Red light, on the other hand, travels more directly through the environment. When the Sun is overhead, we see blue light throughout the sky. But when the Sun is setting, sunlight needs to travel through more environment and travel further before reaching our eyes. The blue light from the Sun spreads away, and longer-wavelength red, orange, and yellow light travel through.
Throughout a lunar eclipse, the Moon reddens because the only sunlight reaching the Moon travels through Earths environment. The more dust or clouds in Earths atmosphere throughout the eclipse, the redder the Moon will appear. Its as if all the worlds sunrises and sundowns are projected onto the Moon.
Artists representation of the Earth throughout a lunar eclipse from the surface of the Moon. With the darkness of the eclipse, the stars come out. The part of the Earth visible in this animation is the part where the lunar eclipse can be seen.
Will any NASA spacecraft observe the eclipse?
NASAs objective team for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), NASAs spacecraft in orbit around the Moon, will turn the instruments off during the eclipse. The spacecraft is solar-powered, so LRO will power to preserve its battery while the Moon remains in shadow.
The Lucy spacecraft, presently on its journey to study Jupiters Trojan asteroids, will turn its gaze towards its home planet to observe a portion of the five-hour long eclipse– from prior to the penumbral eclipse to simply prior to the end of totality. The objective group plans to capture a view of both the Earth and the Moon with the high-resolution imager, LLORRI. Given that the spacecraft will be 64 million miles away and uses the Deep Space Network, it will likely take a few weeks to download and process the images.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon line up so that the Moon passes into Earths shadow. In an overall lunar eclipse, the whole Moon falls within the darkest part of Earths shadow, called the umbra. Throughout a lunar eclipse, the Moon turns red since the only sunshine reaching the Moon passes through Earths atmosphere. Artists representation of the Earth throughout a lunar eclipse from the surface area of the Moon. The Lucy spacecraft, currently on its journey to study Jupiters Trojan asteroids, will turn its gaze towards its home world to observe a portion of the five-hour long eclipse– from simply prior to the penumbral eclipse to simply prior to the end of totality.
Why does the Moon turn red during a lunar eclipse?
The exact same phenomenon that makes our sky blue and our sunsets red triggers the Moon to turn red throughout a lunar eclipse. Blue light has a shorter wavelength and is scattered more quickly by particles in Earths environment than red light, which has a longer wavelength.
What else can I see tonight?
The Moon will remain in the constellation Libra. Here are some more skywatching tips for the month of May.