A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth is between the moon and the sun. The earth casts its shadow on the moon, darkening its appearance. The phenomenon occurs twice every 31/2 years and will take place between May 15th and 16th. Skywatchers in the Americas will get front-row seats for this unique event.
What is a Lunar Eclipse?
The moon takes a reddish glow in a total lunar eclipse despite being completely blackout by the earth. The term blood moon comes from this copper-red hue. One advantage of a lunar eclipse is that no specialized eyewear is necessary to catch a glimpse of the blood moon. Unlike a solar eclipse, observers can look directly into the eclipse because no harmful radiations are emitted.
Things Needed for a Great Observation Experience
The Right Time and Date
Know the actual time and date of the lunar eclipse. The current eclipse will occur on May 15 and 16, beginning at 1:32 UTC. For North American skywatchers, the event will occur on May 15, 2022. Be ready on Sunday at 9:32 pm EST to catch a glimpse of the blood moon.
A Great View
Aim for clear views to maximize the pleasure of the experience. Choose a place with minimal physical or human-made features obstructing the sky view. You can check to see the sky's condition using a good weather map app. If you get cloudy nights or a rainy night, you can opt to find a location with clear skies on that specific night. If you are sure the sky will be clear from your home, you can sit on your front porch or get to the rooftop of a tall building to watch the event.
Binoculars or Telescope
While your naked eye is a qualified instrument for observing a lunar eclipse, it has limitations. The eclipse, at best, will appear to be a small red ball in the sky. A pair of binoculars or a good telescope will provide the best views and plenty of details. You can observe the earth's shadow moving along the moon's surface using a telescope or binoculars.
A total lunar eclipse lasts several hours. During this period, the moon gets completely eclipsed for about an hour. If you intend to catch the entire eclipse, put on warm clothes to brave the cold outside. There is no point in getting a cold because of celestial objects.
You do not need to stand uncomfortably with your head up in the skies. Make the experience memorable by having friends and loved ones with you. Have comfortable reclining chairs. Lawn chairs are a great option because they give a decent sitting angle.
Have snacks and drinks to keep hunger at bay as you enjoy the moon's activity. Keep your binoculars around your neck for quick checking. If you are using a telescope, have it close by to make the most out of the skywatching.
It is okay to observe the eclipse alone, especially if you need some alone time. Having a crowd around can help you note things about the event that would otherwise go unnoticed if you were alone. Whatever your preference, make sure to enjoy and take captivating pictures of the blood moon.
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