How can you see the lunar eclipse
Lunar eclipses occur when Earth's shadow blocks the sun's light, which otherwise reflects off the moon. There are three types — total, partial and penumbral — with the most dramatic being a total lunar eclipse, in which Earth's shadow completely covers the moon. The next lunar eclipse will be a penumbral lunar eclipse on June 5, and will be visible from Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Throughout history, eclipses have inspired awe and even fear, especially when total lunar eclipses turned the moon blood-red, an effect that terrified people who had no understanding of what causes an eclipse and therefore blamed the events on this god or that. Below, you'll find the science and history of lunar eclipses, learn how they work, and see a list of the next ones on tap. The last lunar eclipse was on July 16,SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to photograph a lunar eclipse
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Lunar eclipse guide: What they are, when to see them and where
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves into the Earth's shadow. A lunar eclipse can occur only on the night of a full moon. The type and length of a lunar eclipse depend on the Moon's proximity to either node of its orbit. During a total lunar eclipse, Earth completely blocks direct sunlight from reaching the Moon. The only light reflected from the lunar surface has been refracted by Earth's atmosphere. This light appears reddish for the same reason that a sunset or sunrise does: the Rayleigh scattering of bluer light.
Due to this reddish color, a totally eclipsed Moon is sometimes called a blood moon. Unlike a solar eclipse , which can only be viewed from a relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of Earth. A total lunar eclipse can last up to nearly 2 hours, while a total solar eclipse lasts only up to a few minutes at any given place, due to the smaller size of the Moon's shadow.
Also unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions, as they are dimmer than the full Moon. For the date of the next eclipse, see the section Recent and forthcoming lunar eclipses. Earth's shadow can be divided into two distinctive parts: the umbra and penumbra. Earth totally occludes direct solar radiation within the umbra, the central region of the shadow. However, since the Sun's diameter appears about one-quarter of Earth's in the lunar sky , the planet only partially blocks direct sunlight within the penumbra, the outer portion of the shadow.
A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through Earth's penumbra. Total penumbral eclipses are rare, and when these occur, the portion of the Moon closest to the umbra may appear slightly darker than the rest of the lunar disk.
A partial lunar eclipse occurs when only a portion of the Moon enters Earth's umbra, while a total lunar eclipse occurs when the entire Moon enters the planet's umbra. The Moon's average orbital speed is about 1. Nevertheless, the total time between the first and the last contacts of the Moon's limb with Earth's shadow is much longer and could last up to four hours.
The relative distance of the Moon from Earth at the time of an eclipse can affect the eclipse's duration. In particular, when the Moon is near apogee , the farthest point from Earth in its orbit , its orbital speed is the slowest.
The diameter of Earth's umbra does not decrease appreciably within the changes in the Moon's orbital distance. Thus, the concurrence of a totally eclipsed Moon near apogee will lengthen the duration of totality.
A central lunar eclipse is a total lunar eclipse during which the Moon passes through the centre of Earth's shadow, contacting the antisolar point. This type of lunar eclipse is relatively rare. A selenelion or selenehelion occurs when both the Sun and an eclipsed Moon can be observed at the same time.
This can occur only just before sunset or just after sunrise , when both bodies will appear just above the horizon at nearly opposite points in the sky. This arrangement has led to the phenomenon being also called a horizontal eclipse. Typically, a number of high ridges undergoing sunrise or sunset can view it. Although the Moon is in Earth's umbra, both the Sun and an eclipsed Moon can be simultaneously seen because atmospheric refraction causes each body to appear higher in the sky than their true geometric positions.
The timing of total lunar eclipses are determined by its contacts: . There is often confusion between a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse. While both involve interactions between the Sun, Earth, and the Moon, they are very different in their interactions. The Moon does not completely darken as it passes through the umbra because of the refraction of sunlight by Earth's atmosphere into the shadow cone; if Earth had no atmosphere, the Moon would be completely dark during the eclipse.
Shorter wavelengths are more likely to be scattered by the air molecules and small particles ; thus, the longer wavelengths predominate by the time the light rays have penetrated the atmosphere. Human vision perceives this resulting light as red.
This is the same effect that causes sunsets and sunrises to turn the sky a reddish color. An alternative way of conceiving this scenario is to realize that, as viewed from the Moon, the Sun would appear to be setting or rising behind Earth.
The amount of refracted light depends on the amount of dust or clouds in the atmosphere; this also controls how much light is scattered. In general, the dustier the atmosphere, the more that other wavelengths of light will be removed compared to red light , leaving the resulting light a deeper red color.
This causes the resulting coppery-red hue of the Moon to vary from one eclipse to the next. Volcanoes are notable for expelling large quantities of dust into the atmosphere, and a large eruption shortly before an eclipse can have a large effect on the resulting color. Several cultures have myths related to lunar eclipses or allude to the lunar eclipse as being a good or bad omen.
The Egyptians saw the eclipse as a sow swallowing the Moon for a short time; other cultures view the eclipse as the Moon being swallowed by other animals, such as a jaguar in Mayan tradition, or a three legged toad in China. Some societies thought it was a demon swallowing the Moon, and that they could chase it away by throwing stones and curses at it.
Similarly to the Mayans, the Incans believed that lunar eclipses occurred when a jaguar would eat the Moon, which is why a blood moon looks red. The Incans also believed that once the jaguar finished eating the Moon, it could come down and devour all the animals on Earth, so they would take spears and shout at the Moon to keep it away.
The ancient Mesopotamians believed that a lunar eclipse was when the Moon was being attacked by seven demons. This attack was more than just one on the Moon, however, for the Mesopotamians linked what happened in the sky with what happened on the land, and because the king of Mesopotamia represented the land, the seven demons were thought to be also attacking the king. In order to prevent this attack on the king, the Mesopotamians made someone pretend to be the king so they would be attacked instead of the true king.
After the lunar eclipse was over, the substitute king was made to disappear possibly by poisoning. In some Chinese cultures, people would ring bells to prevent a dragon or other wild animals from biting the Moon.
Certain lunar eclipses have been referred to as "blood moons" in popular articles but this is not a scientifically-recognized term. The first, and simpler, meaning relates to the reddish color a totally eclipsed Moon takes on to observers on Earth.
The second meaning of "blood moon" has been derived from this apparent coloration by two fundamentalist Christian pastors, Mark Blitz and John Hagee. At least two lunar eclipses and as many as five occur every year, although total lunar eclipses are significantly less common. If the date and time of an eclipse is known, the occurrences of upcoming eclipses are predictable using an eclipse cycle , like the saros. Eclipses occur only during an eclipse season , when the Sun appears to pass near either node of the Moon's orbit.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. When the Moon moves into the Earth's shadow. For other uses, see Lunar eclipse disambiguation. See also: Blood moon prophecy.
See also: Saros astronomy and Eclipse cycle. Main article: List of 21st-century lunar eclipses. Further information: Lists of lunar eclipses. Astronomy portal Solar System portal. Retrieved August 1, Mucke, J. Meeus Fundamental Astronomy.
Archived from the original on Retrieved Inconstant Moon. Cyclopedia Selenica. Retrieved 19 December July 16, The troposphere and stratosphere act together as a ring-shaped lens that refracts heavily reddened sunlight into Earth's umbral shadow. Totality Eclipses of the Sun 3rd ed.
New York: Oxford University Press. University of Maryland. Retrieved 2 October Yahoo News. National Geographic. Retrieved 9 October LA Times. Retrieved 6 October What is a Blood Moon? Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 8 February Globe Pequot. Retrieved 30 May Washington Post. Religion News Service. European Southern Observatory. Retrieved 14 August Lunar eclipse at Wikipedia's sister projects. The Moon. Category Commons WikiProject. Lunar eclipses.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves into the Earth's shadow. A lunar eclipse can occur only on the night of a full moon. The type and length of a lunar eclipse depend on the Moon's proximity to either node of its orbit. During a total lunar eclipse, Earth completely blocks direct sunlight from reaching the Moon.
Lunar eclipses are some of the most easy-to-watch astronomical events. All you need to see them are clear skies and a pair of eyes. Anyone on the night-side of the Earth at the time of the eclipse can see it. Viewing a lunar eclipse, whether it is a partial , penumbral or total eclipse of the Moon, requires little effort.
Lunar Eclipses and Solar Eclipses
The moonlight we see on Earth is sunlight reflected off the Moon's grayish-white surface. The amount of Moon we see changes over the month — lunar phases — because the Moon orbits Earth and Earth orbits the Sun. Everything is moving. During a lunar eclipse , Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon, blocking the sunlight falling on the Moon. Earth's shadow covers all or part of the lunar surface. What is the Current Phase of the Moon? Use this tool to see the current Moon phase and to plan ahead for other Moon views. Credit: NASA.
Lunar Eclipses: What Are They & When Is the Next One?
A Space Place Trivia Alert! While we call it a solar eclipse , astronomers call it an occultation. An occultation happens when an object blocks your view of another object. In this case, the moon blocks your view of the sun.
Watching Lunar Eclipses
.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Solar Eclipse 101 - National Geographic
Lunar and Solar Eclipses