7 Things to Know About North America’s Best ‘Blood Moon’ Total Lunar Eclipse of 2029

The upcoming total lunar eclipse on Election Day in the US—Tuesday, November 8, 2022—is an event not to be missed if you happen to be on the night side of Earth at the right time.

North America is in first place for this total “Blood Moon” eclipse, though Europe is missing out. It’s going to be a weird, wonderful sight with some weird features that go far beyond the moon turning red for 85 minutes.

See my page for all the information you need to see the total lunar eclipse from where you are, but here are seven things you absolutely need to know:

1. When it happens depends on your time zone

Tuesday’s total lunar eclipse is a global event occurring simultaneously around the world with lunar totality at 10:16 a.m. to 11:42 a.m. ET on November 8, 2022, but what you see depends on where you are. The exact time the eclipse will be visible from any location is easy to know, but here are the times—for totality only—from North America:

  • 05:16-06:42 EST on Tuesday, November 8, 2022
  • 04:16-05:42 CST on Tuesday, November 8, 2022
  • 03:16-04:42 MST on Tuesday, November 8, 2022
  • 02:16-03:42 PST on Tuesday, November 8, 2022

2. The ensemble will be long and bright

A total lunar eclipse occurs when a full moon passes through Earth’s shadow 870,000 miles/1.4 million kilometers into space. This happens occasionally and can last anywhere from 105 minutes (as in 2018) to as little as five minutes (as in 2015).

In the early morning hours of November 8, 2022 it will last 85 minutes and travel through the northern part of the Earth’s shadow near its edge, so the northern region of the lunar eclipse is expected to be quite bright throughout. This is in contrast to the deep, dark and impressive “Blood Moon” we saw from North America last May.

3. There won’t be a ‘Blood Moon’ this good until 2029

This will be the final total lunar eclipse until 2025 and will not be equal in length until 2029. The next total lunar eclipse will occur on March 14, 2025 and will be visible from North America, South America and the Pacific, with some of the phases visible from Europe, Africa and Asia. However, the set will last 65 minutes.

The next totality to pass next week—and in fact—will pass it—will be a 102-minute event on June 26, 2029. This will be visible from North America, South America, and the Pacific, Atlantic, Europe and Africa.

4. A blue-green planet will meet a red-orange Moon

The entire night side of Earth will see not only a total lunar eclipse, but also the rare sight of the seventh planet Uranus. Uranus is much dimmer than the Moon, so even when they pass close one is usually hidden in the glow from the lunar surface. However, during totality the Moon dims significantly, revealing the sky for much of the 1 hour and 25 minute total. It should be an unaided sight just to the upper left of the Moon (the further west the observer is, the closer they will be to each other), but have some binoculars handy to make sure you see the tiny blue -green disk of .

5. It will turn red due to Rayleigh scattering

The only light reaching the lunar surface will first have been filtered by the Earth’s atmosphere, which will result in the lunar surface turning a reddish color for an astonishing 85 minutes. Short-wavelength blue light from the Sun hits molecules in Earth’s atmosphere and scatters, but longer-wavelength red and orange light mostly travels directly, hitting fewer molecules. So the dominant color of light we will see on the Moon for this short period of time will be red. It’s a bit like sunsets and sunrises.

6. A “Blood Moon” will obscure the Sky

As seen from parts of Asia and Alaska, the Moon will move across the sky in what astronomers call an “occultation.” Moreover, he will do so during the total phase of 85 minutes. Expect to see some close-up images of Uranus very close to the edge of a reddish lunar surface. More details here.

If you want to watch the occultation live, then visit the Hong Kong Space Museum’s YouTube channel, which will be broadcasting from 18:00 to 21:00 HKT in Cantonese.

7. ‘Shooting stars’ may be visible in totality

The Taurid meteor shower peaks the same week as the total lunar eclipse, so it may be possible to see “shooting stars” during totality. What’s more, the Taurids are predicted to be stronger than usual this year — and sometimes come with bright, colorful “fireballs.” It may be a long shot, but during totality the night sky will darken dramatically for a full moon night. You will definitely see stars around the Moon.

Disclaimer: I am its author WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com

I wish you clear skies and open eyes.

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