A Blood Moon total lunar eclipse will occur this weekend, and here’s when to watch it.
The sun, moon and Earth will align on Sunday evening for a total lunar eclipse on May 15, which occurs when Earth comes between the sun and the full moon. As a result, Earth casts a giant shadow across the lunar surface, giving the moon a striking reddish hue – which is why lunar eclipses are also called blood moons.
Sunday’s full moon is also considered a supermoon, meaning it appears larger and brighter than usual because it’s at the closest point to Earth in its orbit, also known as perigee.
The total lunar eclipse will be visible from parts of the Americas, Antarctica, Europe, Africa and the Eastern Pacific. Meanwhile, a penumbral eclipse, where the outer part of Earth’s shadow covers the moon, will be visible in New Zealand, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Related: How to Watch Super Flower Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse Online
If you’re looking to photograph the moon, 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.
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If you take a photo of the 2021 total lunar eclipse, let us know! You can send images and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Depending on your location, a partial lunar eclipse starts May 15 at 10:28 p.m. EDT (0228 GMT May 16). The blood moon will reach its peak at 12:11 a.m. EDT (04:11 GMT) on May 16 before the lunar eclipse ends at 1:55 a.m. EDT (05:55 GMT). The penumbral moon phase of the eclipse will begin about an hour earlier and end about an hour after the partial eclipse, according to TimeandDate.com.
Viewers lucky enough to be on their way to the lunar eclipse will need to get out early to catch the event. There will also be live streams available on YouTube from NASA Science Live, Slooh and TimeandDate.com.
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The NASA Livestream starts at 9:32 p.m. on May 15 (0132 GMT on May 16). It will include a discussion of eclipses, moon science and the agency’s Artemis lunar landing program. Slooh, an astronomy learning website, begin their webcast May 15 at 9:30 p.m. EDT (May 16 0130 GMT). TimeandDate plans to broadcast the entire lunar eclipse, weather permitting, from 10 p.m. EDT on May 15 (02:00 GMT on May 16).
This will be the first of two lunar eclipses in 2022. The next one will be on November 8, 2022 and will be visible at least partially from Asia, Australia, North America, parts of northern and eastern Europe, the Arctic and most of of South America, according to Timeanddate.com.
Editor’s note: If you take a great lunar eclipse photo and want to share it with Space.com readers, send your photo(s), comments, and name and location to email@example.com.