There’s an opportunity to look at a particular astronomical occasion this weekend, because the night time of Could 15/16 will see a complete lunar eclipse. It’s an awesome alternative to cease and search for into the sky, and we’ve received data on how one can watch the occasion — whether or not you wish to head exterior and see it your self or keep wrapped up heat inside and watch on-line.

What to anticipate from the lunar eclipse

A telescopic visualization of the total lunar eclipse, happening May 15-16, 2022.
A telescopic visualization of the full lunar eclipse taking place Could 15-16, 2022. NASA/Goddard/Ernie Wright

An eclipse occurs when the moon is on the precise reverse aspect of Earth than the solar, in order that Earth casts a shadow over the moon. It’s comparatively frequent for there to be partial lunar eclipses, through which a part of the moon is shadowed by the Earth, however the occasion this weekend is a rarer complete lunar eclipse. This occurs round as soon as each one-and-a-half years, when the moon is in full shadow.

Because the Earth, solar, and moon transfer into place, you’ll see a shadow showing throughout the face of the moon, shifting over it till it blocks it out completely. The shadow known as the umbra, and the purpose at which it covers the moon utterly known as the totality.

for a extra in-depth rationalization about how lunar eclipses occur and the way they’re completely different from photo voltaic eclipses or phases of the moon, NASA has a useful video:

Tips on how to watch the lunar eclipse

The benefit of lunar eclipses is that, not like solar eclipses, they are completely safe to look at and require no special equipment. If you do have binoculars or a telescope, then this is a good excuse to get them out and observe the moon, but you can see the eclipse with the naked eye as well — providing there aren’t clouds in the way, so cross your fingers for good weather.

It’s also possible to view the eclipse from anywhere in the world where it’s dark during the right hours. In this case, that includes a full view of every stage of the eclipse from the eastern half of the United States and all of South America. Totality will also be visible from many other places, including most of Africa and central Europe. Have a look at the interactive NASA map to see when totality will happen the place you’re.

It ought to be straightforward to see the eclipse when it occurs. “The entire half of Earth in darkness throughout these hours will have the ability to see it,” said NASA astronomer Alphonse Sterling. “You don’t must work too laborious to discover a good vantage level. Simply go exterior!”

The eclipse can even be a chance to see extra stars, based on astronomer Mitzi Adams: “No moon means extra seen stars,” Adams mentioned. “Throughout totality, if the skies are clear, we could even have the ability to see the Milky Means itself, displaying up as a hazy white river of stars stretching away in a curving arc.”

Watch the eclipse on-line

In the event you can’t get exterior, if the climate is dangerous, or for those who’re in a location that gained’t be darkish on the proper time, then you’ll be able to watch the eclipse on-line. NASA has a stream of the eclipse that includes views from telescopes world wide, together with professional commentary. The stream begins at 11 p.m. ET (8 p.m. PT) on Sunday, Could 15, and you’ll watch alongside utilizing the video embedded under:

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