Total lunar eclipse this weekend will give us a Blood Moon
The full moon will slide into and through the shadow of the Earth from 9:32 p.m. May 15, to 2:50 a.m. May 16, producing the first total lunar eclipse of 2022.
The first hint that something special is happening will come at 9:32 p.m. Sunday, as the outer edge of Earth’s shadow first moves across the edge of the moon, beginning a penumbral eclipse.
By 10:27 p.m. the moon will be in partial eclipse as it moves into the deep umbral shadow of Earth. The Moon will begin taking on the reddish that gives the name of Blood Moon to a lunar eclipse.
The total eclipse will begin at 11:29 p.m. and the moon will become a deeper red.
The red hue is created as light from the sun, on the opposite side of the Earth, is refracted around the edges of Earth’s atmosphere and strikes the surface of the moon.
The maximum eclipse will arrive at 12:11 a.m. Monday when the moon is at the center of the shadow cast by Earth.
The total eclipse will end at 12:53 a.m., the partial eclipse at 1:55 a.m. and the penumbral eclipse at 2:50 a.m.
The event will be covered by several webcasts, including Slooh, the online telescope for families, beginning at 9:30 p.m.; NASA Science Live, beginning at 9:32 p.m.; and TimeandDate.com, beginning at 10 p.m.
Unlike a solar eclipse, viewing the lunar eclipse directly from a location like your backyard poses no dangers to your eyes. You will not need eclipse glasses.
Also, unlike a solar eclipse, the totality phase of a lunar eclipse lasts much longer.
For optimum viewing, Space.com recommends “heading outside at least 20 minutes before the eclipse starts, to get your eyes adjusted to the darkness. Equipment such as cameras, telescopes and binoculars may need a few hours to adjust to the different temperature and humidity outside, so bring them out as soon as possible to avoid dew issues.”
• None Two full lunar eclipses, blazing fireballs will be part of the night sky show in 2022
The lunar eclipse coming up at the end of this week will be the first of two in 2022. The second will take place on Nov. 8-9.
There will be two again in 2023, May 5-6 and Oct. 28-29.