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How to photograph the spectacular blood moon lunar eclipse this weekend

A total lunar eclipse – also known as a ‘blood moon’ – is coming this weekend and it will be visible to the whole of North America and South America, with western Europe nd western Africa getting a glimpse. This spectacular event occurs when the full moon turns red as it enters Earth’s shadow. The eclipse will occur at the same global time, but will be seen during the evening of Sunday, May 15, 2022 in North America and in the pre-dawn hours of Monday, May 16, 2022 in Europe. In the UK it will be possible to see the first 42 minutes or so of totality before the moon sets and dawn breaks.

Although the Moon’s orbit around Earth is a global phenomenon with a global schedule, whether our satellite will be above the horizon when it begins to turn strange colors will depend on shadows, angles and the quality of light visible where you are on the planet. Clear skies allowed, of course.

It all begins with a faint penumbral eclipse as the Moon enters Earth’s outer shadow. That’s not much to look at, but it is a good time to photograph a full moon because it will be much dimmer than usual. It’s followed by a partial eclipse as the moon begins to turn red. The event peaks with totality, during which the moon will be a dark reddish copper color. That will last for 84 minutes – much longer than average. The spectacle then goes into reverse as the moon exits Earth’s shadow.

(Image credit: NASA)

The eastern half of North America will witness the entire thing on Sunday through Monday, the western half will get totality early on Sunday evening (making it youhe longest prime-time eclipse of the century) and Europe and Africa will see it just before dawn on Monday.

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