A total lunar eclipse will take place in November, and it will be the last one until March 2025. The November 8 total lunar eclipse will be the fourth and final eclipse of 2022. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
The Reason Behind a Blood Moon
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon, casting its shadow across the lunar disk. However, the Moon doesn’t completely disappear out of view. Instead, it takes a reddish-brown hue when the eclipse reaches its totality. That’s why a total lunar eclipse is called a blood moon eclipse.
The reason behind this phenomenon is simple. When the Moon is eclipsed, only the refracted light from the Earth’s atmosphere reaches it. So the green and the blue light are scattered, but the red wavelengths get filtered out. Some of that red light is refracted, or bent, as it passes through Earth’s atmosphere and ends up shining on the Moon with a ghostly red light. This is Rayleigh scattering, the same physics behind the red color of the Sun during sunrise and sunset.
The redness of the Moon depends on atmospheric conditions resulting from fires, volcanic eruptions, and dust storms. A blood moon is a treat to watch. No special eye protection is needed for viewing a lunar eclipse, unlike solar eclipses (which occur during the daytime). While the lunar eclipse can be observed with the unaided eye, a pair of binoculars or a telescope can enhance the view.
Map of the Lunar Eclipse
The eclipse will be visible in any location where the Moon is above the horizon at the time, including from Oceania, the Americas, Asia, and Northern Europe. A detailed map of the eclipse is given below:
Timings of the Eclipse
The total duration of the eclipse will be 5 hours and 54 minutes, making it the longest lunar eclipse of the year. What you’ll see during the total lunar eclipse entirely depends on where you observe it from. A schedule specific to your location is available on TimeandDate.com. Here’s when to see the phases of the blood moon eclipse from North America (all times are for November 8, 2022):
|Penumbra first visible?||3:48 a.m.||2:48 a.m.||1:48 a.m.||12:48 a.m.|
|Moon enters umbra||4:08 a.m.||3:08 a.m.||2:08 a.m.||1:08 a.m.|
|Total eclipse begins||5:16 a.m.||4:16 a.m.||3:16 a.m.||2:16 a.m.|
|Mid-eclipse||5:59 a.m.||4:59 a.m.||3:59 a.m.||2:59 a.m.|
|Total eclipse ends||6:41 a.m.||5:41 a.m.||4:41 a.m.||3:41 a.m.|
|Moon leaves umbra||–||–||5:49 a.m.||4:49 a.m.|
|Penumbra last visible?||–||–||6:09 a.m.||5:09 a.m.|
Look out for Uranus!
Observers along a curved path from Alaska through Far Eastern Russia down through Japan and Taiwan will see a special treat, as the Moon occults (passes in front of) the planet Uranus during totality. Russia and Alaska will the occultation transpire during the partial phases of the eclipse, while Japan and Taiwan will catch the occultation during totality. This is a truly rare event: the last time the Moon occulted a planet during totality occurred on October 8, 2014 (also Uranus) and the next time it occurs isn’t until June 2, 2235 (also Uranus).
So the Moon, the Sun, the Earth, and Uranus will almost align for a short period on November 8.
Don’t miss the Leonids of November
November is known for the Leonids, an annual meteor shower that peaks on 17-18th of the month. Annual meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through a stream of the debris left behind in the wake of comets and asteroids. Over time, the pieces of grit-like debris in these streams distribute themselves along the length of the parent object’s orbit around the solar system. Shooting stars are spotted whenever one of these pieces of debris collides with the Earth’s atmosphere, typically burning up at an altitude of around 70 to 100 km.
This shower can be traced back to the comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle and has put on some real shows over the centuries in the form of intense meteor storms that produce hundreds of visible meteors per hour. The American Meteor Society says it’s unlikely we’ll see such a storm in our lifetimes (the most recent was in 2001), although 2030 might see a minor storm.
This year, the Leonids do offer the opportunity to see around 15 meteors per hour. This is much better than Taurids that peaked a few days ago.
There is a pivotal point in the sky associated with each meteor shower, the radiant. All the meteors appear to originate from the radiant. The best show of the meteor showers occurs when the radiant is well up in the night sky. You can use these space apps to locate the radiant easily. The radiant of this shower lies in the constellation of Leo.