Tuesday, May 10, 2022

How to watch the first lunar eclipse in almost a year

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Earth will slide between the moon and sun this weekend, with our planet’s shadow falling on the dark lunar surface, coloring it red-orange for Earth observers.

There will be a total lunar eclipse, the first science on May 26, 2021, and skygazers in most parts of the world can catch the entire show from Saturday May 15th to Sunday May 16th, provided they know when to look, local weather permitting.

Here’s what you need to know about the lunar eclipse.

What is a lunar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, casting a lunar shadow on earth, allowing viewers to see the sun being obscured by the moon. A lunar eclipse reverses roles, with Earth coming between the Sun and Moon and Earth’s shadow falling on the Moon.

The Moon will gradually slide into Earth’s shadow, first entering the softer shadow of Earth’s penumbra, which will be visible as a slight obscuration on the Moon’s lower left side as the eclipse as viewed from North America.

The darkening increases as the moon moves into the deepest part of Earth’s shadow, the umbra. This partial eclipse phase lasts about an hour.

As soon as it is completely in the umbra of the earth, the total solar eclipse begins. The moon does not turn black like in a solar eclipse, but instead glows a shade of red or orange, the exact hue depends on the contents of Earth’s atmosphere at the time – sunlight refracting through the edges of Earth’s atmosphere creates the glow on the moon Moon.

Totality lasts about 75 minutes.

Although the moon does not fully darken, the sky darkens significantly during totality, and celestial features such as the Milky Way should be visible.

After totality, the process reverses, with the total eclipse lasting about five hours and 20 minutes.

Where can you see the total lunar eclipse?

Most skygazers in North America, Central, and South America, and many in Europe, Africa, and the eastern Pacific, will be able to see the entire eclipse, although not everyone will see the entirety.

Those in Alaska, Australia, and East and Central Asia will miss this lunar eclipse, although New Zealanders may be able to experience a partial eclipse in the early evening of May 16 local time.

When can you see the total lunar eclipse?

The timing of the lunar eclipse depends on the viewer’s location. While New Zealanders won’t see the moonrise until after the eclipse has already peaked, viewers on the US east coast can watch the entire show, with the partial eclipse beginning at 10 p.m. Saturday.

The total eclipse begins at 00:29 for east coasts, with the peak at 01:12 and totality merging back into a partial eclipse at about 01:54. The eclipse will end around 2:30 a.m. for East Coast viewers.

For those in the UK and Europe, the partial eclipse begins at 2:28 AM, totality begins at 3:29 AM and ends at 4:54 AM, and the eclipse ends at 6:30 AM.

How to watch the total lunar eclipse?

Unlike a solar eclipse, observing a lunar eclipse does not require special goggles or instruments – you just need to look up at the sky at the right time.

However, binoculars or a good telescope allow for a more detailed view of the Earth’s shadow sweeping across the moon’s surface. The subtle shading caused, for example, by sunlight filtered through Earth’s atmosphere is easier to pick up with the help of binoculars.

What if you miss the total lunar eclipse?

Whether you live in a part of the world where the moon isn’t in the sky during the eclipse, or you just forget to look up, you might get a second chance later this year. The next total lunar eclipse on November 8 will be visible from parts of the world excluded from Saturday’s eclipse, including Asia and Australia, although much of Africa and Europe will have to sit out.

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