A red moon known as the “Blood Moon” is nearby. The astronomical phenomenon will occur on the night of Sunday May 15. How and when to see it? We will tell you then.
Between the night of Sunday May 15 and the morning of Monday May 16, we can enjoy this natural spectacle that the night sky offers us. This is a full moon total eclipse in which the Earth obstructs the Sun, obscuring our satellite and bathing it in reddish light. Hence its fantastic name “Blood Moon”
Observing this phenomenon is simple, no special apparatus or filters are required. We will be able to appreciate this Blood Moon with the naked eye from certain points on the planet.
Where can we see the eclipse from?
Fortunately, this eclipse will be visible from many places around the world: all of South and Central America, much of North America, South/West Europe, South/West Asia, Africa and Antarctica.
In Figure 1 it is possible to see in which parts of the planet the lunar eclipse can be seen and with what intensity. For more precise data for each city, it is possible to access interactive maps such as time and date.
In the case of the Argentine Republic, it will be possible to observe the total eclipse from any point, as long as the clouds allow it.
The eclipse will take place over 5 hours and 18 minutes. It will begin at 10:32 p.m. (local time) on May 15 with the penumbra, during which the moon becomes a little more opaque, but these changes will be barely noticeable to the human eye.
After 11:00 p.m., the eclipse will begin, during which the moon will darken and acquire a characteristic reddish tone. The total eclipse will occur at 0:29 p.m. Monday, May 16, and our satellite is already completely red.
The peak of splendor for this lunar phenomenon will occur at 1:11 a.m. Monday, then begin to decline as Earth clears the satellite again. The end point of the eclipse will occur with another penumbra at 3:50 a.m. Monday.
In the case of neighboring countries such as Uruguay and Chile, the phenomenon will occur at similar times, it will be enough to adjust the time that governs each place to appreciate the eclipse.
On the other hand, for North America, taking Mexico City as an example, the phenomenon will occur from 8:32 p.m. (local time) and at 1:50 a.m. it will be possible to appreciate the total lunar eclipse. In New York, it will start at 9:30 p.m. and peak at 2:50 a.m.
Europe will be able to appreciate the phenomenon, but for a shorter time than America because the moon will descend below the horizon before the end of the eclipse.
For example, in the city of Madrid, the duration of the eclipse will be 3 hours and 29 minutes. The penumbra will begin at 3:32 a.m. (local time) on Monday, May 16, at 4:27 a.m. the partial eclipse will begin, and at 5:29 a.m. the total eclipse will occur in which the moon can appreciate red. The maximum of the eclipse with the red Moon will occur at 6:11 a.m. and at 6:38 a.m. the moon will already set on the horizon, completely eclipsed, which will make it impossible to appreciate the phenomenon in its entirety.
Lunar Eclipse Stages
Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses can be seen from any part of the planet as long as it is dark, nature’s spectacle extends over several hours which are determined by their “contacts”, each of they fix a key stage of the astronomical phenomenon.
The first contact (P1) is the beginning of the penumbral eclipse (the dimming or darkening that occurs in the lunar disk is very subtle), then the partial eclipse begins with the second contact (U1) here the Moon touches the limit exterior of the earth’s shadow (darkening is detected with the naked eye).
The beginning of the total eclipse occurs in the so-called third contact (U2) here the lunar disk completely enters the terrestrial shadow, when it is in its center the maximum of the eclipse occurs. It is known as the fourth contact (U3) until the stage of the end of totality, and now retracing the path already traveled, the Moon passes through the fifth contact (U4) when the partial eclipse ends. The last and sixth contact (P2 or P4) is the final stage of the penumbral eclipse and the full Moon moves completely away from the umbra.
Due to the different shadows cast, eclipses are categorized into: penumbra when the Moon only passes through the terrestrial penumbra (U1, U2, U3 and U4 will not be measured), partial where only part of the Moon enters the shadow , (U2 and U3 does not end), and total i.e. when the lunar disk completely enters the threshold zone.