Extraordinary total lunar eclipse on May 16: How and when is it observed?

For the first time since January 2019, it will be possible to observe a total lunar eclipse in France during the night of Sunday 15 May to Monday 16 May. This eclipse, which begins at moonrise in America, will end at sunset in Europe and Africa. A lunar eclipse occurs when the three stars, the Sun, Earth and Moon, line up.

Our moon, in its full moon phase, will pass through the cone of the Earth’s shadow. It will be visible in the second part of the night, early in the morning. You will have to get up earlybecause the phenomenon will begin with the moon entering the semi-shadow of the Earth, at 3 hours and 30 minutes (the legal time), followed by its entry into the shadow, more excitingly, at 4 hours and 27 minutes. When the entire lunar disk is immersed in the shadows, the grand total will last just over 84 minutes, from 5:29 to 6:54. But we won’t be able to watch it until the end.

Halfway through, the maximum will happen at 6 hours 11 minutes, within minutes of sunrise and sunset. The weather seems to be favorable in Occitanie, which makes it possible to observe this wonderful spectacle of nature with the naked eye, using binoculars or astronomical instruments.

Safe for the eyes

All without danger to the eyes, unlike a solar eclipse. The aurora borealis will increase rapidly to the northeast, as the moon descends toward the southwest horizon. To hope for beautiful photos, it is recommended to provide an open landscape and work around 5 hours 30 minutes.

The great astronomical meeting of May will be held on Monday the 16th when the full moon will slip into the Earth’s shadow and will be completely eclipsed … And it will be visible, in particular, in the French capital?https://t.co/nR9robmCNa pic.twitter.com/TEkHM9r3LC

– Guillaume Cannat (GuillaumeCannat) May 2, 2022

In general, the moon does not disappear during these eclipses, as its surface takes on a more or less copper-red-orange color. This is explained by the refraction of the sun’s rays that skim the Earth on both sides. By placing the sun on one side and the rising sun on the other side, it gives this red color by crossing the atmosphere. It is also necessary to take into account the meteorological state of the atmosphere over this ocean, up to solar activity.

Every eclipse has its share of surprise, which stimulates the observation of a phenomenon with a constantly renewed coloration. An event not to be missed because the second total lunar eclipse of 2022, on November 8, will be visible from the Pacific Ocean.

Stan Shaw

<p class="sign">"Professional food nerd. Internet scholar. Typical bacon buff. Passionate creator."</p>

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