By Eloise Aube
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The show promises to be spectacular. On the night of Sunday May 15 to Monday May 16, we can observe a total lunar eclipse. This moment when the latter is adorned with a red hue, offering a rare sight.
The last phenomenon of Red Moonalso called Blood Moon because of its color, dates back to January 2019.
And for this year, what can we expect?
What is it about ?
This astronomical event is only possible when the Moon is full. It is explained by an almost perfect alignment between the Sun, the Earth and the Moon. Thus, as the night progresses, our blue planet will cover the visible part of the Moon.
The Paris Observatory explains it this way:
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the shadow of the Earth, which then interposes itself between the Sun and the Moon, blocking all or part of the solar radiation which comes to illuminate the Moon.
The Red light which adorns the Moon is due to “atmospheric refraction”: the sun’s rays no longer go directly to the Moon and are deflected by the Earth’s atmosphere.
“This leads to a decomposition of white light, which favors the passage of red rays which are reflected on the lunar surface and gives it this characteristic tint”, specifies Science and Future.
Should we protect ourselves during this eclipse?
Unlike solar eclipses, eye protection is not required to observe a lunar eclipse. “It’s safe” assures the French Astronomical Society. And if you want to see this lunar eclipse in detail, you can use binoculars.
Where to see this Red Moon?
The luckiest will be the inhabitants of South America, Central America and those of part of North America since the eclipse will be visible in full at this place of the globe.
In France, the eclipse will start at 3:32 a.m. to be total between 5:29 a.m. and 6:54 a.m. Its peak will occur at 6:11 a.m.. Those who will see this Red Moon best will be the people of the West (the sun rising in the East).
Thus, “the further west we go, the more we will observe a large part of the totality of the eclipse (20 minutes in Strasbourg, 40 minutes in Paris, 1 hour 10 minutes on the island of Ouessant)”, specifies the Paris Observatory.
And if you can’t see it, no problem: the Nasa will broadcast the event live in the video below.
Note that the next total lunar eclipse will take place on November 8, but will certainly not be visible from France. So enjoy the show this weekend.
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