• Vinita Domier

Total Eclipse of the Moon on May 15, 2022

Updated: 3 days ago

By Vinita Domier

NASA Solar System Ambassador


Join the Davis Astronomy Club on the evening of Sunday, May 15, to view the total eclipse of the rising full moon. We will meet at 8pm in the grassy area in Mace Ranch Park between the baseball diamonds (behind Explorit Science Center) so we can have a clear view of the east/southeast horizon.



On May 15, sky watchers will be treated to the spectacular celestial phenomenon known as the total eclipse of the moon which will be visible to all viewers in the nightside of the earth. This lunar eclipse will also be a long duration event as totality, when the moon is totally eclipsed, will last for about 85 minutes which is close to the maximum possible of 90 minutes.

For local observers, the rising full moon will already be partially eclipsed as the partial eclipse of the moon will begin at 7:27pm but moonrise is at 8:05pm on May 15. The moon will then be totally eclipsed between 8:29pm and 9:53pm with maximum totality occurring at 9:11pm. The full moon will be back to its normal view at 10:55pm with the end of the partial eclipse.

No special equipment or precautions are needed to watch this lunar show except clear skies. As the moon will be low in the south/south-east horizon while it is rising, find a location that has a clear unobstructed view in that direction for optimum viewing conditions.

An eclipse occurs when the view of a celestial body is temporarily obscured as it transits through another celestial body’s shadow. During a lunar eclipse, the moon is eclipsed when it passes through the earth’s shadow. This can only occur during the moon’s full phase when the earth is between the sun and the moon in a straight-line alignment, known as synergy of the earth-moon-sun system.

During the total phase of the lunar eclipse, the moon is totally engulfed in the earth’s dark umbral shadow as the earth is in between the sun and the moon. This prevents direct sunlight from reaching the moon which only shines because of reflected sunlight. But some components of sunlight that pass through the earth’s atmosphere indirectly reach the moon during totality imparting it a reddish hue. The shade of the reddish color of the moon during totality is a good indicator of the earth’s atmospheric conditions as less sunlight passes through when particulate levels are higher.

A full moon repeats every 29.5 days, but lunar eclipses do not occur at every full moon. This is because the moon’s orbit is tilted a little with respect to the earth’s orbit so that at most full moons the moon is not in a perfect alignment with the earth and the sun. This alignment is only possible every six months, and the timing needs to coincide with the moon’s full phase to result in a lunar eclipse. The next opportunity to view a total lunar eclipse locally will be in the early morning hours of November 8, 2022.

Join the Davis Astronomy Club on the evening of Sunday, May 15, to view the total eclipse of the rising full moon. We will meet at 8pm in the grassy area in Mace Ranch Park between the baseball diamonds (behind Explorit Science Center) so we can have a clear view of the east/southeast horizon.

For more information, please contact Vinita Domier at vcdomier@yahoo.com.

Also, please see link below for NASA's video simulation of the event:

https://moon.nasa.gov/resources/487/total-lunar-eclipse-may-2022/


 

Exploit's coming events:

• Sunday, May 15 Mace Ranch History: From Sheep to Science. This talk will cover the fascinating history of Mace Ranch from 1850 to present day. The event is included with the cost of admission.

• Limited spaces still available for our Summer Science Camps. All camps run from Monday-Friday and will have both indoor and outdoor components. Price is $175 Members/$200 Non-Members. Register for summer camp at https://www.explorit.org/camps..

• A Membership to Explorit grants the recipient free visits to Explorit’s regular public hours, discounts on events, summer camps and workshops, and gives you ASTC benefits to visit other museums throughout the world. To purchase or for more information visit https://www.explorit.org/membership or call Explorit at 530-756-0191.