The moon turned an eerie blood-red color during a total lunar eclipse on Sunday night, May 15, visible to potentially millions of stargazers on four continents.
The lunar eclipse, celebrated as Super Flower Blood Moon, was the longest total lunar eclipse in 33 years, according to Space.com skywatching columnist Joe Rao. It was visible, weather permitting, from a wide swath of the world that spanned the Americas, Antarctica, Europe, Africa and the Eastern Pacific. You can see amazing photos of the Super Flower Blood Moon by skywatchers with clear skies to see it.
During the lunar eclipse, the full moon spent about 85 minutes inside Earth’s shadow, or darker shadow, according to Space.com columnist Joe Rao. That’s compared to 96 minutes in August 1989, according to TimeandDate.com.
Even New Zealand, Eastern Europe and the Middle East had a subtle view of the penumbral, or slightly shadowed, version of the eclipse. But it was the blood moon that caught the attention of people around the world.
Related: Super Flower Blood Moon lunar eclipse: Is this the 1st of 4 super moons?
Riste Spiroski sighted the moon in Macedonia at 4:45 a.m. local time. “It looks like Saturn, with a long thin cloud in front of it, as the partial eclipse occurs – and you can see it clearly. I was amazed by the sight,” Spiroski told Space.com in an e -mail. You can see the photo below.
Some Space.com readers commented on the beauty of the eclipse. “Beautiful view of the moon from Tucson, Arizona,” wrote reader Bod Read.
Michelle Jensen, another reader, used a smartphone to capture the eclipse from New Prague, Minnesota, about 45 minutes south of Minneapolis.
“I took a few clear photos of the start of the eclipse. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, but I thought it was pretty cool that my phone picked up so much,” Jensen wrote. You can see the photo below.
The timing of the Super Flower Blood Moon depended on your location. TimeandDate.com said the partial eclipse phase of the lunar eclipse began May 15 at 10:28 p.m. EDT (0228 GMT May 16). It reached the peak of the blood moon on May 16 at 12:11 a.m. EDT (0411 GMT). Then, the event ended at 1:55 a.m. EDT (05:55 GMT). The penumbral eclipse started and ended an hour earlier than the total eclipse.
Several webcasts have discussed the art and science of the blood moon, for people outside of the viewing area, in cloudy conditions, or otherwise unable to see the spectacle in person.
“Awesome, almost spiritual things don’t require modern technology,” Slooh astronomer Bob Berman said during the Astronomy webcaster’s live stream.
As the blood moon shone live in remote-controlled telescopes broadcasting live on Slooh, the company’s curriculum director explained how light around our planet is refracted and falls on the moon’s surface. “You’re watching the sunrises and sunsets that are happening on our planet, right now, with the light from those hitting the moon,” John Boisvert said.
Eclipse scientist Fred Espenak called the full moon a so-called supermoon, taking into account the variability in perigees (closest approaches) and apogees (farthest approaches) the moon has on our planet.
NASA, however, follows an alternate definition suggesting that a supermoon occurs when the moon is within 90% of its closest approach, which the agency says will next occur in June.
Supermoon or not, the full moon turning red for a while has garnered a lot of attention around the world.
If you’re hoping to photograph the moon or want to prepare your gear for the total lunar eclipse, check out our best cameras for astrophotography and our best lenses for astrophotography. Read our guides on how to photograph a lunar eclipse, as well as how to photograph the moon with a camera for some helpful tips for planning your lunar photo shoot.
Totality! Tonight’s #LunarEclipse, seen from Florida’s space coast against a beautiful star field. pic.twitter.com/7EiO4gH1utMay 16, 2022
From my Samsung galaxy s21 Lunar eclipse May 15, 2022 pic.twitter.com/woAZdC77tbMay 16, 2022
A huge crowd turned out for the lunar eclipse! A beautiful moment in a Montreal park ❤️ So glad you all saw this pic.twitter.com/ToZwh7jPefMay 16, 2022
Total Lunar Eclipse! Taken with an iPhone attached to my 8 inch telescope. 🌕📱🔭#lunareclipse2022 pic.twitter.com/MBweZp6AvkMay 16, 2022
super blood moon lunar eclipse pic.twitter.com/GRudCig4eQMay 16, 2022
Lunar eclipse, if you squint hard enough pic.twitter.com/2qyF6UCcWVMay 16, 2022
Lunar eclipse tonight #EclipseLunar #Minnesota pic.twitter.com/HXF4D5rvaJMay 16, 2022
Editor’s note: If you take a great lunar eclipse photo (or your own eclipse webcast) and want to share it with Space.com readers, please submit your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.