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First Blood Moon of 2022 is this month – here’s when and where to see it

Published May 5th, 2022 8:41AM EDT
The Hubble Space Telescope in front of the Moon.
Image: M. Kornmesser (ESA/Hubble), NASA, and ESA

The first Blood Moon of 2022 will hit on May 15. The total lunar eclipse will be visible throughout the Americas, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and other places. You’ll also be able to see it from the eastern Pacific, South Pacific, and even in Antarctica.

The first Blood Moon of 2022 will happen on May 15

first blood moon of 2022 will be an unforgettable lunar eclipse
A photograph of the moon during a lunar eclipse. Image source: MJB/Adobe

We just experienced our first solar eclipse of the year, and now the first total lunar eclipse is following hot on its heels. The solar eclipse hit back in April. The eclipse will kick off in the late evening of May 15. It will continue on into the early morning hours of May 16, depending on where you are in the world.

The total eclipse effect is expected to peak around 12:11 a.m. on May 16. At that time, the first Blood Moon of 2022 will become more clearly visible.

Unlike total solar eclipses, which are usually only visible in a select part of the world, total lunar eclipses like this will be visible in much wider areas. Most people in North and South America will be able to see the Blood Moon as it makes its trek through the sky.

The total lunar eclipse will also be viewable from the western reaches of Europe and Africa, as I noted at the start of this article. If you’re in New Zealand, the eastern European area, or the Middle East, you’ll see a penumbral eclipse. A penumbral eclipse is when only the edge of the Earth’s shadow covers the Moon.

Why total lunar eclipses happen

Breakdown of a partial lunar eclipse
A breakdown of a nearly total lunar eclipse. Image source: NASA/Fred Espenak/Guiseppe Donatiello/Scott Sutherland

Total lunar eclipses always happen when the Moon is full. A Full Moon happens when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun. This allows the Sun to illuminate the entire face of the Moon. A total lunar eclipse happens when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon, casting its shadow on the Moon. We also call these eclipses Blood Moons.

Total lunar eclipses happen so rarely because of how the Earth is situated in its orbit. The Moon’s orbit is tilted 5 degrees compared to the Earth’s orbit. So, the Moon normally avoids the Earth’s shadow when a full moon is happening. However, sometimes the orbits line up, allowing a total lunar eclipse to take place.

The first Blood Moon of 2022 is going to be beautiful. It’s something that sky watchers won’t want to miss when it happens later this month. Make sure to head outside on May 15 and May 16 to watch as the Moon is eclipsed by the Earth’s shadow.

Joshua Hawkins fell in love with writing and technology at a young age. Eventually he decided to combine the two and started writing about video games, the latest tech, and all the cool gadgets he could find. Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.