Total Lunar Eclipse 2022: Why is it called a blood moon?


Total Lunar Eclipse 2022: Come May 15-May 16, and millions of sky gazers in many parts of the world will get to enjoy the breath-taking total lunar eclipse which will be slightly bigger in appearance and reddish in colour. It is the first of the two total eclipses of 2022 and while it will not be visible in India, people from many parts of the world like Rome, New York, Brussels, to Washington DC will be able to see the celestial event. Total lunar eclipse is also referred to as blood moon. Here’s why. (Also read: Total Lunar Eclipse 2022: Will it be visible in India? These cities will see blood moon on May 15-May 16)

A total lunar eclipse takes place when the Earth comes between the Sun and the moon and the latter falls within umbra, the darkest part of Earth’s shadow. There are different types of lunar eclipses including penumbral lunar eclipse, partial lunar eclipse and a relatively rare central lunar eclipse.

Total lunar eclipse is also known as blood moon due to its reddish appearance. This happens as the red wavelengths of the sunlight filter through Earth’s atmosphere onto the moon’s surface. As per NASA, the air molecules from Earth’s atmosphere scatter out most of the blue light. The remaining light reflects onto the moon’s surface with a red glow, making the moon appear red in the night sky.

This full moon is also being called supermoon because of its slightly bigger appearance as it will be at its closest point to Earth in its orbit.

According to NASA website, the eastern half of the United States and all of South America will have the opportunity to see every stage of the lunar eclipse. Totality will be visible in much of Africa, western Europe, Central and South America, and most of North America.

The eclipse will however be not visible in India as per since the moon is below the horizon during this eclipse.

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