Moon goes blood red this weekend: 'Eclipse for the Americas'




  • In Science
  • 2022-05-13 18:35:01Z
  • By Associated Press
 

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A total lunar eclipse will grace the night skies this weekend, providing longer than usual thrills for stargazers across North and South America.

The celestial action unfolds Sunday night into early Monday morning, with the moon bathed in the reflected red and orange hues of Earth's sunsets and sunrises for about 1 1/2 hours, one of the longest totalities of the decade. It will be the first so-called blood moon in a year.

Observers in the eastern half of North America and all of Central and South America will have prime seats for the whole show, weather permitting. Partial stages of the eclipse will be visible across Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Left out: Alaska, Asia and Australia.

"This is really an eclipse for the Americas," said NASA's Noah Petro, a planetary geologist who specializes in the moon. "It's going to be a treat."

All you need, he noted, are "patience and eyeballs."

A total eclipse occurs when Earth passes directly between the moon and the sun, and casts a shadow on our constant, cosmic companion. The moon will be 225,000 miles (362,000 kilometers) away at the peak of the eclipse - around midnight on the U.S. East Coast.

"This is this gradual, slow, wonderful event that as long as it's clear where you are, you get to see it," Petro said.

If not, NASA will provide a livestream of the eclipse from various locations; so will the Slooh network of observatories.

There'll be another lengthy total lunar eclipse in November, with Africa and Europe lucking out again, but not the Americas. Then the next one isn't until 2025.

Launched last fall, NASA's asteroid-seeking Lucy spacecraft will photograph this weekend's event from 64 million miles (103 million kilometers) away, as ground controllers continue their effort to fix a loose solar panel.

NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins, a geologist, plans to set her alarm clock early aboard the International Space Station.

"Hopefully, we can be up in time and be at the right place at the right time to catch a good glimpse," she told The Associated Press earlier this week.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Nasa launches first rocket from Australian commercial spaceport
Nasa launches first rocket from Australian commercial spaceport

It is Nasa's first launch from a commercial site outside the US - and a landmark moment for Australia.

Mystery rocket crashes into Moon and leaves baffling
Mystery rocket crashes into Moon and leaves baffling 'double crater,' NASA says

It's the first time a crashing rocket has created a double crater, NASA says

NASA to launch first rocket from a commercial spaceport in Australia on Sunday
NASA to launch first rocket from a commercial spaceport in Australia on Sunday
  • US
  • 2022-06-26 07:13:04Z

NASA will launch a rocket from the remote wilderness of northern Australia on Sunday evening, the first commercial space launch in Australia and the agency's...

NASA determines Space Launch System testing complete
NASA determines Space Launch System testing complete

The testing campaign for NASA's super big, super expensive Space Launch System is now complete, the agency declared on Friday. The launch could occur as...

NASA asteroid mission on hold due to late software delivery
NASA asteroid mission on hold due to late software delivery
  • US
  • 2022-06-24 20:26:56Z

NASA put an asteroid mission on hold Friday, blaming the late delivery of its own navigation software. Now the space agency is going to step back, and an...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Science