Can you witness the total lunar eclipse on May 16, 2022?

A total lunar eclipse occurs on Monday, May 16, 2022. Only part of the planet can actually enjoy it. So, does France have the chance to witness the first lunar eclipse of the year?

Shortly after a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse is about to occur. On Monday, May 16, 2022, the Moon will be completely eclipsed by our planet, Earth. This is the first lunar eclipse of the year. But will France have the chance to attend the show? In part, yes.

As a reminder, lunar eclipses necessarily occur at the time of the full moon. During this period, the Moon rises when the Sun sets, and vice versa. This means that the Moon is visible all night. Logically, if it is dark where you are at the time of a lunar eclipse, you can therefore see it. For the May 16 eclipse, the eclipse will be visible entirely from eastern North America and from South America. The totality phase can be seen from parts of Europe on Monday morning.

Eclipse phasesTimetable (Paris time)
Entering the dark3h32
Entering the shadows4h27
Start of totality5h29
End of totality6h54
Exit from the shadows7h55
Out of the dark8:50 am

In Strasbourg, we will see the eclipse for less time than in Paris

According to indications of the Institute of Celestial Mechanics and Ephemeris Calculation (IMCCE), ” in mainland France, the Moon will set during the totality phase: the further west you go, the more you will observe a large part of totality (20 minutes in Strasbourg, 40 minutes in Paris, 1 hour 10 minutes on the island from Ouessant) ».

Metropolitan France cannot see the end of it, the Moon having already set (the Moonset is scheduled for 6:09 a.m.). On the other hand, from the West Indies or Guyana, the observation will be ideal, the Moon being placed very high in the sky.

Phases of the eclipse of May 2022, 16. // Source: IMCCE

In all, the totality phase of the eclipse lasts 1 hour and 24 minutes, which is quite brief for a lunar eclipse. The eclipse of May 16 is generally short: the whole phenomenon should last 5 hours and 18 minutes.

How does a lunar eclipse occur?

For a lunar eclipse to occur, there must be an alignment between the Sun, the Earth and the Moon, in that order. The Earth, coming between the Sun and the Moon, blocks all or part of the radiation from the star which normally illuminates the Moon.

There is no lunar eclipse every month because the Moon does not pass through the Earth’s shadow during each of its orbits. This is because the Moon’s path around our planet is tilted, relative to the plane in which the Earth’s orbit around the Sun is located.

All about the star of the solar system, the Sun

Source: Numerama by

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