How to watch tonight’s rare ‘Blood Moon’ total lunar eclipse

How to watch tonight’s rare ‘Blood Moon’ total lunar eclipse

The blood moon rises tonight – and briefly disappears.

May 15 marks this season’s full “flower moon,” which historically occurs when flowers are in full bloom for spring in North America, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. But this one is extra special – as it’s also the first of two lunar eclipses in 2022, and should be a big one.

Skywatchers know that a moon is “super” when its orbit reaches one of its closest points to Earth – also called “in perigee” (and the opposite of which, “in apogee”, means that the moon is furthest).

Some astro-forecasters say Sunday brings more than one semi-supermoon – as there’s an ongoing debate in the scientific community about the true definition – which still makes for a pretty spectacular eclipse part of the Americas, the Antarctica, Europe, Africa and the Eastern Pacific.

This is where his other macabre nickname comes in.

eclipse phases
May 15 marks this season’s total “super blood moon flower” eclipse – when the twinkling full moon in spring casts an eerie red glow during an eclipse.
VCG via Getty Images

What is the meaning of “blood moon”?

A blood moon only occurs during a lunar eclipse and emits an orange-red glow during its few minutes transit through Earth’s shadow, due to an optical illusion caused by our atmosphere.

Just before the peak of the eclipse – or when the sun and moon are in perfect opposition – light that normally reflects directly off the lunar surface will be redirected through Earth’s atmosphere, filtering out the blues of the UV spectrum so that only the reds and oranges remain – hence the changing effect.

And the bigger the moon appears, the more spectacular the show.

When is the Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse?

Most of Europe, Africa and the United States – minus parts of the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii and Alaska – as well as eastern Canada, New Zealand and the All of South America find themselves in the sweet spot for viewing the moon on May 15, as they will enjoy a partial or full eclipse, depending on their location. Meanwhile, Asia, Australia and parts of West Africa will have to wait their turn.

The exact timing of the eclipse varies depending on the location of skywatchers, but says a partial eclipse begins on the East Coast at 10:28 p.m. and turns red at 12:11 a.m. on Monday, May 16. The cycle ends at 1:55 a.m. EDT.

Or, you can see it with the best view, thanks to NASA, on YouTube.

When is the next lunar eclipse?

The next and final lunar eclipse of 2022 will take place on November 8 and will be seen from parts of Asia, Australia, North America, Europe and the Arctic Circle – and even better from South America.

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