HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — For those into all things space, you can catch quite a treat the night of Sunday May 15, 2022 and the earliest hours of Monday May 16, 2022. Assuming there's a lack of cloud cover, we'll be able to catch a Total Lunar Eclipse.
What is a Total Lunar Eclipse?
There are actually three types of lunar eclipses a total lunar eclipse being one of them. Before we define those, it's best to understand the basic definition of a Lunar Eclipse.
A Lunar Eclipse occurs when the Earth comes between the sun and moon casting a shadow on the moon. This only occurs when there is a full moon.
Penumbral Lunar Eclipse:
In this type of Lunar Eclipse, the earth's hard shadow never actually covers the moon making the event very difficult to actually see.
Partial Lunar Eclipse:
Here, the earth's soft shadow covers the moon and the hard shadow covers a portion of the moon but not the whole moon. The moon will still appear faintly red.
Total Lunar Eclipse:
Earth's hard shadow will cover the entire surface of the moon. This is often referred to as a "Blood Moon" because the moon will appear red or copper in color.
You will not have to stay up late to view this eclipse.
Eclipse Times In The Tennessee Valley
8:32 PM CDT: The first signs that the moon is being covered by earth's soft shadow.
9:27PM CDT: The partial eclipse begins and the moon begins to take on a red or copper hue.
10: 29PM CDT : Total lunar eclipse begins. At this point the moon will look completely red or copper.
11:12 PM CDT: At this point we are mid-way through the total lunar eclipse. The moon looks red or copper. This is where we get the term "Blood Moon"
11:53 PM CDT: The total lunar eclipse comes to an end.
12:55 AM CDT: The Partial lunar eclipse ends. Parts of the moon are still covered by the soft shadow, but it's very hard to see.
Unlike a Solar Eclipse, you do not need special glasses to view a Lunar Eclipse. You'll be able to easily step outside and look up at the moon with the naked eye. That said, binoculars would be handy if you'd like to view the hard shadow overtaking the moon in greater detail.A Telescope will be helpful if you want to see the finer details of the moon itself during the eclipse.
Cellphones are always hit or miss when it comes to taking solid photos of the moon.