CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida — One of the most anticipated astronomical shows of the year will take place this Sunday.
It is a total lunar eclipse that will provide a longer show than usual for stargazers in almost the entire continent of America.
The celestial show can be seen from Sunday night to Monday morning, with the moon bathed in red and orange tones reflected from Earth’s sunsets and sunrises.
The lunar eclipse could last up to an hour and a half, making it one of the longest of the decade. This will be the first so-called “blood moon” in a year.
WHERE CAN YOU SEE IT?
The astronomical spectacle will be visible in Central America, South America and some parts of eastern North America from 11 pm ET on Sunday, May 15 until 2:52 am ET on Monday, May 16.
NASA recommends that fans go out to see it in person, they just need patience and look at the sky.
Partial stages of the eclipse will be visible in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. And the places where it won’t be seen are Alaska, Asia and Australia.
“This is really an eclipse for all of America,” said NASA’s Noah Petro, a planetary geologist who specializes in the moon. “It will be a pleasure.”
If the sky is cloudy or you are in a region where it cannot be seen, NASA will broadcast it at this link:
HOW DOES A TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE OCCUR?
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon line up in such a way that the Moon passes through Earth’s shadow.
During a total lunar eclipse, the entire Moon falls within the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra. When the Moon is in the umbra, it takes on a reddish hue. Lunar eclipses are sometimes called “Blood Moons” due to this phenomenon.
You do not need any special equipment to observe a lunar eclipse. A dark environment away from bright lights offers the best viewing conditions.
During a lunar eclipse, the Moon turns red because the only sunlight that reaches it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere first. The more dust or clouds there are in Earth’s atmosphere during the eclipse, the redder the Moon will appear. It is as if all the sunrises and sunsets in the world are projected onto the Moon.