Total lunar eclipse 2022: How to view the ‘blood moon’

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The full moon of May will see stargazers red.

The moon will turn a scarlet color on Sunday during this year’s first total lunar eclipse—a stark contrast to its usually milky-white glow.

A partial solar eclipse begins Sunday at 10:27 p.m. ET and the total lunar eclipse begins at 11:29 p.m. ET, according to EarthSky. The total eclipse ends Monday at 12:53 a.m. ET and the partial eclipse ends at 1:55 a.m. Monday, the site said.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon, Earth and sun align, with the moon passing through Earth’s shadow, according to NASA. When the moon passes through the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra, it’s known as a total lunar eclipse, the space agency said.

When the sun’s rays reach Earth, much of the blue and green light is scattered, while the orange and red colors remain visible, which is why the moon takes on a reddish hue and is often referred to as the “blood moon,” according to The Ancient farmer’s almanac.

Not everyone will be able to glimpse the total lunar eclipse because it has to be nighttime to see it, said Noah Petro, head of NASA’s Planetary Geology, Geophysics and Geochemistry Lab.

People in South America and in the eastern part of North America will have a great view of the lunar eclipse, he said. The total lunar eclipse will be visible in much of Africa, Europe and South America and most of North America.

About two lunar eclipses occur each year, and the next will be a total lunar eclipse in November, Petro said. Then there won’t be another total lunar eclipse until March 2025, he added.

According to Petro, it is perfectly safe to view a lunar eclipse with the naked eye.

“The great thing about lunar eclipses is that you don’t need any equipment other than a passion and interest in being outdoors and a clear horizon,” Petro said.

For optimal viewing conditions, avoid bright lights and tall buildings that can obscure your view, he said.

While the eclipse’s peak may only last a short time, the moon’s coppery hues will change throughout the night, Petro said. These changes make this celestial phenomenon interesting to watch during the eclipse rather than at a particular time, he said.

If it’s cloudy or otherwise the lunar eclipse can’t be seen, you can watch it livestream from NASA.

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, there will be seven more full moons in 2022:

  • Sep 10: Harvest moon
  • October 9: the hunter’s moon

These are the popular names associated with the monthly full moons, coming from Native American tribes. The names vary from tribe to tribe, because a full moon from month to month or season to season had a different meaning to the tribes.

In addition to another total lunar eclipse in 2022, there will also be a partial solar eclipse, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Partial eclipses occur when the moon passes in front of the sun, but blocks only part of the light. Be sure to wear proper eclipse goggles to safely view solar eclipses, as sunlight can be harmful to your eyes.

A partial solar eclipse on Oct. 25 will be visible to people in Greenland, Iceland, Europe, northeast Africa, the Middle East, western Asia, India and western China. It will not be visible from North America.

After this weekend, the next total lunar eclipse will also be visible for people in Asia, Australia, the Pacific, and South and North America on Nov. 8 between 3:01 a.m. and 8:58 a.m. ET — but the moon sets before those in the eastern regions of North America.

Check out the other nine showers that will peak in 2022:

  • Southern Delta Aquariids: July 29-30
  • Alpha Capricornids: July 30-31
  • Southern Taurians: Nov 4-5
  • Northern Taurians: November 11-12

If you live in an urban area, you may want to drive to a place not littered with city lights to get the best view.

Find an open area with a wide view of the sky. Provide a chair or blanket so you can look straight up. And give your eyes about 20 to 30 minutes — without looking at your phone or other electronics — to adjust to the darkness so the meteors are easier to spot.

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