This Is Exactly What This Weekend’s Total Lunar Eclipse ‘Blood Moon’ Will Look Like Says NASA
We’re in for a dark, brooding and distinctly orangey “Blood Moon” tonight! On the evening of Sunday, May 15 and into the early hours of Monday, May 16, 2022 our natural satellite in space will pass through Earth’s shadow.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth gets precisely between the Sun and a full Moon, preventing direct sunlight from shining on to the lunar surface. The only light that gets through to the Moon is first filtered by Earth’s atmosphere.
In effect all of Earth’s sunrises and sunsets are projected onto the lunar surface at once. For a whopping 1 hour 24 minutes the Moon will be draped in the same reddish, orangey light that you can see just before sunset here on Earth.
Total lunar eclipses are spectacular events to behold with the naked eye—or through binoculars or a telescope—but they’re not all the same.
They all look different because they all pass through Earth’s shadow in space in a slightly different way.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when a full Moon passes through Earth’s 870,000 miles/1.4 million km long shadow in space. That happens just occasionally, and it can take anywhere from 105 minutes (like in 2018) to just five minutes (like in 2015).
On May 15-16, 2022 totality will last for 84 minutes because it travels through the southern half of the Earth’s shadow. Consequently the Moon’s northern limb—which will be closest to the center of Earth’s shadow—is predicted to be rather dark during totality.
It will also be slightly larger than the average Moon. That’s because it’s technically a “supermoon,” one of the closest four full Mons of the year. However, the 7% increase in the Moon’s apparent size won’t be noticeable.
From the surface of the Moon, the Earth will totally eclipse the Sun.
Anyone on the Moon would see a red ring around the Earth’s atmosphere, everything around them would look red and it would get very cold.
From Earth it looks fabulous! Don’t miss this—it’s the astronomy event of the year.
Disclaimer: I am the editor of WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.