In a rare and likely breathtaking event, a Super Blood Moon is set to be fully eclipsed by the Earth. Here’s exactly when to expect it in the UK and what to do when it sinks below the horizon or the weather is poor
Image: Paul Gillis)
The Moon is set to pass through the shadow of the Earth today (May 15) to create an overnight total lunar eclipse.
It is set to be the first Blood Moon of 2022 – which is when the Moon turns red thanks to the light being filtered through the Earth’s atmosphere.
Eclipse scientist Fred Espenak has given the moon of the night of May 15 the title of Super Moon.
This is the name usually given to the point when the Moon is the closest to Earth that it will be that month. This means the moon of May 15 is actually going to be a Super Blood Moon eclipse.
This triple whammy of incredible lunar events should make for some spectacular viewing and will be well worth trying to get a glimpse of it if you can.
Read on for the exact times it will be visible in the UK and what to do if the weather is bad.
When is the total lunar eclipse?
AFP via Getty Images)
According to Time and Datethe partial stage of the eclipse will begin at 3:27am on May 16, with the full eclipse happening just over an hour later at 4:29am.
The red hue of the Blood Moon is expected to be visible from around 4:11am.
The point of maximum eclipse is then due to take place around 40 minutes later at 5:11am.
The rare event is expected to end at 5:53am, so it’s likely going to be a long night of being up and awake for those devoted to watching the events through.
If you’re in London though, we have some bad news, because the point of the maximum eclipse is going to take place at a time when the Moon has dipped below the horizon.
Don’t fret though, because much of the run-up and the full eclipse stage should be visible – weather permitting – and there are other options available to you as well.
How can I watch the eclipse if it is cloudy?
If it is cloudy and the Moon isn’t visible, then there are still some options available to you, although these will of course be dependent on good weather at the various observation sites.
One of the best ways to catch a glimpse is through the NASA Science Live YouTube broadcast, which will kick off at 1:32am on May 16.
Describing the broadcast, NASA says: “Join NASA experts to learn about this incredible natural phenomenon, look through telescope views across the world, and hear about plans to return humans to the lunar surface with the Artemis program.”
Another option to watch the eclipse is with Slooh’s webcast, which says: “This graceful transition will take several hours as we watch our familiar Full Moon take on a ghostly character. Some call these total lunar eclipses ‘Blood Moons’, but they are usually far more subtle – shades of pink, peach, and, if we’re lucky, reds enveloping Earth’s nearest celestial neighbour.
“The Online Telescope’s experts will be on hand to explain this spectacular sight from the start of the penumbral phase, through the partial, and then the beautiful total phase that lasts for 1 hour and 19 minutes.”
If you want a third option, then head over to the video stream from Date and Time. It says: “Our live coverage is your perfect companion to this eclipse, whether it’s visible from your location or not. Follow the eclipse from start to finish with us right here!”