New Delhi: Sky gazers are in for a treat again as the first total lunar eclipse of 2022, also known as “supermoon”, “Blood Moon” or “Flower Moon”, will take place on May 15-16 intervening night. The moon will be bathed in the reflected red and orange hues of Earth’s sunsets and sunrises for about 1-1.5 hours, one of the longest totalities of the decade. 

It will be the first so-called blood moon in a year.

Total lunar eclipse 2022: Will Chandra Grahan be visible from India?

While it will not be visible in India, skywatchers in the eastern half of North America and all of Central and South America will have prime seats for the whole hour-long show, weather permitting. 

Partial stages of the eclipse will also be visible across Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Asia and Australia, however, will be left out. 

The partial eclipse phase will begin over North America around 9.28 pm Central Daylight Time on May 15 (7:58 am IST on May 16). Totality will begin at 10:29 pm CDT, concluding about midnight. After totality, the partial phase will end at 12:56 a.m. CDT on May 16.

Total lunar eclipse 2022: How does it occur?

A total eclipse occurs when Earth passes directly between the moon and the sun, and casts a shadow on our cosmic companion. In a total lunar eclipse, the entire Moon falls within the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra.

When the Moon is within the umbra, it turns a reddish hue. It is because of this phenomenon that Lunar eclipses are sometimes called “Blood Moons”. 

There may be multiple partial lunar eclipses each year, but total eclipses are a bit rarer. The phenomenon takes place every 1.5 years.

Total lunar eclipse 2022: When will the next one take place?

The May 15-16 event will be the first of two total lunar eclipses in 2022 and the second one will take place on November 7-8. Then the next one isn’t until 2025.

The length of totality for each of these eclipses is almost identical: 1 hour 24 minutes 50 seconds in May, and 1 hour 24 minutes 54 seconds in November. 

In the 430-year period from 1661 until 2091, there is no other year that contains two total lunar eclipses of such equal length, media reports claimed.

(With agency inputs)

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