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What is a total lunar eclipse? Blood moon and its meaning explained

A BLOOD Moon will appear this weekend – but what is it?

Here’s a guide to the stunning space phenomenon known as the total lunar eclipse.

A total lunar eclipse turns the moon red

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A total lunar eclipse turns the moon redPhoto credit: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio

What is a lunar eclipse and when is the next one?

The earth is constantly revolving around the sun and the moon is constantly revolving around the earth.

Sometimes all three can align, placing the Earth directly between the Sun and Moon in a straight line.

This means that the moon is in the darkest part of the earth’s shadow – the “umbra”.

And because of the convenient size and distance of all three objects, no sunlight can reach the moon directly.

However, some of the sunlight is refracted by Earth’s atmosphere, making the moon appear reddish – hence the name “Blood Moon”.

Lunar eclipses typically last only a few hours and can be viewed from anywhere on the night side of Earth.

Because they are usually quite dark, it is also possible to see lunar eclipses without eye protection, which is not the case with a solar eclipse.

There are three different types of lunar eclipses:

  • Total lunar eclipse – Here the moon turns deep red and only receives light that has passed through the earth’s atmosphere.
  • Penumbral lunar eclipse – This is the case when the sun, moon and earth do not form a perfect straight line, so the moon only passes through the outer part of the earth’s shadow. This means that the moon’s surface is partially darkened.
  • Partial lunar eclipse – This is when part of the moon moves through the full shadow of the earth, causing part of the moon to become eclipsed.

The next total lunar eclipse is on May 16, 2022, but for Americans it begins on Sunday, May 15.

Can you see the May 16, 2022 Lunar Eclipse in the UK and US?

The total lunar eclipse will be visible in the UK and US.

In fact, it will appear across most of North America, South America, and parts of Europe and Africa.

East Coast Americans have the best chance of seeing the eclipse, but the entirety will be visible across much of the United States.

Nasa has created a visibility map that you can see at the end of this article.

When is the lunar eclipse on May 16, 2022?

In the UK, the moon will enter the Earth’s shadow around 2:30 am on May 16th.

And the total solar eclipse will occur around 4:30 p.m.

It will finally end at 7:50 a.m. – but the eclipse will have ceased to be visible about two and a half hours before that, as the moon sets below the horizon at 5:10 a.m.

For Americans, Earth’s shadow begins to cover the moon at 10:28 p.m. Eastern time on May 15.

Then the total solar eclipse begins on the same day at 11:29 p.m.

The peak of the eclipse will be on May 16 at 00:11.

And totality lasts until 00:53.

Dates of the lunar eclipse

Here are the top blood moons to look out for through 2030, according to Nasa:

  • Total Lunar Eclipse – May 16, 2022
  • Total Lunar Eclipse – November 8, 2022
  • Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – May 5, 2023
  • Partial Lunar Eclipse – October 28, 2023
  • Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – March 25, 2024
  • Partial Lunar Eclipse – September 18, 2024
  • Total Lunar Eclipse – March 14, 2025
  • Total Lunar Eclipse – September 7, 2025
  • Total Lunar Eclipse – March 3, 2026
  • Partial Lunar Eclipse – August 28, 2026
  • Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – February 20, 2027
  • Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – July 18, 2027
  • Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – August 17, 2027
  • Partial Lunar Eclipse – January 12, 2028
  • Partial Lunar Eclipse – July 6, 2028
  • Total Lunar Eclipse – December 31, 2028
  • Total Lunar Eclipse – June 26, 2029
  • Total Lunar Eclipse – December 20, 2029
  • Partial Lunar Eclipse – June 15, 2030
  • Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – December 9, 2030

The total lunar eclipses of 2025, 2026, 2028 and 2029 are not considered supermoons.

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There will be no total lunar eclipses in 2023 and 2024.

And that also applies to 2027.

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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8798791/what-is-total-lunar-eclipse-blood-moon/ What is a total lunar eclipse? Blood moon and its meaning explained

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