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LOOK UP: Total lunar eclipse will take place Sunday evening

Make a wish! The maximum eclipse occurs at 11:11 p.m.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 6:55 PM CDT|Updated: May. 15, 2022 at 2:15 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - There will be a show in the Brazos Valley sky Sunday evening, and it will not cost you a dime. The first total lunar eclipse of 2022 will be visible for much of the Lower 48 and North America. As the eclipse occurs, the moon will be dyed red as Earth casts a shadow for about an hour and twenty-five minutes.

THE SUPER FLOWER BLOOD MOON

This moon will get a distinct title because:

  • Super: This is a “supermoon” -- it is closer to Earth’s orbit when it is a full moon, meaning it will look a bit bigger than normal. While a supermoon by definition, it will be the furthest of the kind this year at 225,015 miles from Earth
  • Flower: The May full moon is called the “flower moon” due to the blooming of flowers that occurs in spring
  • Blood: The Earth’s shadow on the moon (from our vantage point) gives it a red hue/color

HOW CAN YOU SEE IT?

Step outside Sunday and look toward the east-southeast sky. As the event occurs, the moon will travel from that point on the horizon to the southeast sky where the event will occur then high in the southern sky as the event comes to an end. Below are the key times to note for viewing:

  • Moonrise: 7:57 p.m. Look: east-southeast
  • Partial Eclipse Begins: 9:27 p.m. Look: southeast
  • Total Eclipse Begins: 10:29 p.m. Look: southeast
  • Maximum Lunar Eclipse: 11:11 p.m. Look: south-southeast
  • Total Lunar Eclipse Ends: 11:53 p.m. Look: south
  • Partial Lunar Eclipse Ends: 12:55 a.m. (Monday) Look: south

Weather-wise, we should have decent viewing conditions in place locally Sunday night with mostly clear skies and temperatures in the low 80s by the time the eclipse begins.

Mostly clear skies are currently in the forecast for Sunday night with temperatures in the low...
Mostly clear skies are currently in the forecast for Sunday night with temperatures in the low 80s by the time the eclipse starts.(KBTX)

WHAT IS A TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE?

Eclipses occur when one object blocks another. In this case, the Earth will pass between the sun and the moon. While you may think that would cause the moon to go dark, some of the light of the sun skirts around the Earth and scatters toward the moon. That scattering of light through our atmosphere allows the moon to take on a blood, red color. For a total eclipse, the sun, Earth, and full moon have to all be in a line.

SOME LUNAR ECLIPSE FACTS TO MAKE YOU SAY “WOW”

  • The moon will appear about 7% larger than the average because it is near perigee (the moon’s orbit point nearest to Earth
  • The temperature swings on the moon are very dramatic, to the order of 500° Fahrenheit, from bright full sunshine to dark shade
  • All phases of a lunar eclipse are safe to view, both with your naked eye and an unfiltered telescope
  • Capturing the moon with a camera is not an easy task. Here are 10 suggestions from NASA for making the most of a moonlit night

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