June 19, 2024

I, Science

The science magazine of Imperial College

by Gabriella Sotelo (November 7, 2022)

The second lunar eclipse of 2022 will occur on Tuesday, and will be visible to many around the world. This will be the last total lunar eclipse before 2025. 

This final eclipse of the year will only be visible to those in North and Central America, Australia, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and parts of South America, so those in the United Kingdom are out of luck for this year. The next total lunar eclipse should occur on March 14, 2025, according to NASA. 

Total lunar eclipses occur when the Earth is positioned between the Sun and the Moon, and the shadow cast by Earth completely covers the Moon. Total lunar eclipses are also sometimes called a ‘Blood Moon’ of the reddish hue it takes on. This is because the sunlight that is reaching the Moon is passing through the Earth’s atmosphere, and these light molecules with shorter wavelengths (blues and violets) will be scattered leaving the light molecules with longer wavelengths (reds and oranges), which will reflect onto the Moon. 

Unlike solar eclipses, you do not need special equipment to properly observe a lunar eclipse, though a dark environment away from lights could make for the best viewing conditions If you do want to enhance your view of the eclipse, binoculars or telescopes could help, according to NASA. You may also be able to photograph the eclipse if you set your camera on a tripod with exposure. 

Those who can’t go outside and see the eclipse can still find live streams of the eclipse occurring online. Observatories like the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California and the Lowell Observatory in Arizona will be holding live streams throughout the night for those who would like to catch the eclipse. NASA may also host a livestream on their YouTube channel.

The eclipse will begin at 3:02 A.M EST (8:08 GMT). Eclipse totality, when the Moon will turn a coppery-red, will last for around 1.5 hours, from 5:17 a.m. until 6:42 a.m. EST (or 10:16 a.m to 11:42 a.m GMT).