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, the earth and the 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 does not occur of course, becauseorbiting From the satellite it corresponds to about 5 degrees relative to the Earth. Thus it passes north or south of the Earth’s orbit.

In the event of a lunar eclipse, it passes through the Earth’s shadow or penumbra: its orbit is aligned with the plane of Earth’s orbit. Such events happen twice a year, but a total eclipse More rare, because it is often Penumbral or 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 eclipse begins, 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 that won’t stop us from making a great note Colors On our satellite! Unfortunately, the continents of Oceania and Asia will benefit little or nothing from the show this time around.

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