L'éclipse totale de la Lune du 21 janvier 2019. © James, Adobe Stock

May 15-16 total lunar eclipse: What you need to know

It’s a rare event that will happen in heaven Leila This month of May 2022: On the night of May 15-16, the moon will pass shadow on earthwhich will lead to a total lunar eclipse ! It can be seen at the end of the night, and can be observed at different times depending on where you are.

An animation of the moon passing through the earth’s shadow. © Earth to Sky Calculus, Vimeo

Perfect alignment between the Moon, Earth and Sun

corresponds to a perfect alignment Between the moon and the earth and Sun. This means that it can only happen if full moonWhen the earth is between the sun and the moon. However, in most cases, an eclipse of course does not occur, because the orbit of the satellite corresponds to it about 5 degrees compared to the orbit of the Earth. Thus it passes north or south of the Earth’s orbit.

in the case of a Lunar eclipsepasses through the shadow area or penumbra From the Earth: Its orbit is aligned with the plane of the Earth’s orbit. Such events occur twice a year, but total eclipses are very rare, because most often it is one or more lunar eclipses. partial. On May 16, 2022, the alignment of the three stars will be almost perfect, so that the moon will be decorated with Beautiful copper shades ! The last visible appearance from mainland France occurred in 2019, on January 21st to be exact.

Where and when do you monitor it?

For amateurs, the best vantage points are in the West Indies, Guyana, and Quebec, where the entire eclipse will be visible. The show will begin when the moon is high in the sky around 9:30 p.m. in Quebec and the West Indies, 10:30 p.m. in Guyana, and end as soon as it sets, around 3 or 4 a.m. Entry into the shadow zone will occur one hour after the start of the eclipse, and will last for about an hour.

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In mainland France, it will be visible early in the morning on May 16, with darkness entering around 3:30 a.m., to shadow around 4:30 a.m., and at 5:30 a.m. it will set while the eclipse will remain total. But this will not prevent us from noticing wonderful colors on the surface of our satellite! Unfortunately, the continents of Oceania and Asia will benefit little or nothing from the show this time around.

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