Here's how to watch the Blood Moon lunar eclipse next week

·2-min read

The first lunar eclipse of 2022 will be visible on Monday 16th May, named the Blood Moon lunar eclipse. In the UK, we will be in the right hemisphere for the first half of the eclipse, so you'll have to wake up at around 2.30am if you want to see it.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about the Blood Moon lunar eclipse, including where to see it and details on what is a lunar eclipse.

What is a lunar eclipse?

According to Time and Date, a total lunar eclipse takes place when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Full Moon and blocks the Sun's direct rays from lighting up the Moon. When a lunar eclipse occurs, the Moon transforms into a dark red colour because it is illuminated by light that has passed through the Earth's atmosphere.

"When sunlight passes through the Earth's atmosphere, it gets refracted towards the Earth's surface, and part of it—the colours with shorter wavelengths—gets scattered and filtered out, while the rest, colours with longer wavelengths like orange and red, passes through the atmosphere," say Time and Date.

"This light is once again refracted towards the surface of the fully eclipsed Moon, thus illuminating it in a reddish-orange glow. Because of this, a total lunar eclipse is sometimes colloquially called a Blood Moon."

Total lunar eclipses happen only when:

  • It is a Full Moon

  • At the same time, the Moon is at (or very near) a lunar node, so the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth are aligned in a straight line

Photo credit: Diane Miller - Getty Images
Photo credit: Diane Miller - Getty Images

How can you watch the Blood Moon lunar eclipse in May 2022?

Want to watch the lunar eclipse taking place in May 2022? The total eclipse of the Moon will be visible in the early hours of Monday 16th May, starting at 02:32 BST in the UK. You'll have to set your alarm, because the eclipse will take place in the early hours of the morning. You might want to consider using a telescope or binoculars to get the best view.

NASA will also broadcast the lunar eclipse live on YouTube, so you can easily tune in at home.


Why is it called a Blood Moon?

The name Blood Moon is given to the lunar eclipse because of the red tinge the Moon is washed with during the event. This is caused by the Earth completely blocking direct sunlight from reaching the moon, creating quite the spectacle.

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