What is a “selenium eclipse?”  The Weird “Blood Moonset-Sunrise” Coming to America Next Week

What is a “selenium eclipse?” The Weird “Blood Moonset-Sunrise” Coming to America Next Week

If you live in New York or pretty much anywhere on the east coast down to North Carolina, get ready to see something strange happen at sunrise.

In the early hours of Tuesday, November 8, 2022, the last total ‘Blood Moon’ eclipse for three years will be visible from North America.

It’s a celestial event lasting over five hours, during which our satellite will drift and then exit Earth’s shadow into space. As the Moon reaches the center of the shadow it will take on a reddish-copper color. It will be visible to everyone in North America, Pacific and East Asia. Most astronomers will tell you that it is best seen in western North America, where we will see it in its entirety.

However, this is not true if your ambition is to see a rare ‘selenel’ eclipse – a masterclass in the physics of light.

What is a “selenium” eclipse?

“A selenium eclipse occurs when the Moon fully rises at sunset (in the evening, in the east) or sets completely at sunrise (in the morning, in the west),” said Patricia Reiff, an American space physicist at the University Rice. in Houston, Texas that operates a dedicated eclipse website.

How can this happen? The Moon is only eclipsed when it moves in the Earth’s shadow in space, so it is directly opposite the Sun. The phenomenon occurs due to the curvature of the Earth – our planet’s atmosphere refracts the images of the Sun and Moon and makes them appear in slightly different positions.

It is a relatively rare event for a particular location because this alignment is only possible in a narrow band on the Earth’s surface that covers both morning and evening. “Each lunar eclipse has two selenelion bands, but they may not be visible from the US,” says Reiff.

However, as of November 8, 2022, one of these selenelion bands is in the US.

Because ‘Blood Moon’ is reddish

During the Moon’s long journey through Earth’s shadow, the only light reaching the lunar surface will have first been filtered through Earth’s atmosphere. This makes it red. Short-wavelength blue light from the Sun hits molecules in Earth’s atmosphere and scatters, but longer-wavelength red and orange light travel more easily directly, hitting fewer molecules. So the dominant color of light seen on the Moon for this short time will be towards the red end of the spectrum.

The physics is the same as for a sunset or sunrise. In fact, during a lunar eclipse, the phenomenon can be said to be thousands of sunrises and sunsets projected simultaneously on the lunar surface.

What the observer sees during a lunar eclipse at sunrise or sunset is the red light from the Sun – both in the Sun’s disk and the eclipsed Moon – with the blue part of the sunlight scattered over the Earth’s atmosphere.

Who will see a morning selelion eclipse?

A lunar eclipse is a global event that occurs at the same global time for all observers, but where you are on our planet determines what you will see. Locations that see a completely eclipsed “Blood Moon” near midnight, when the Moon is high in the sky, are said to have the best views mainly because all the different phases can be seen.

If totality appears on the horizon, the observer misses the partial lunar eclipse by moving it forward. but he can see a moon.

For example, New York City will see the maximum eclipse at 5:59 AM. and moonset is at 6:41 a.m.—so he will see a lunar eclipse. So will Boston, Portland and Bangor.

In fact, the entire eastern coastline of North America in the US up to the Outer Banks of North Carolina will see a lunar eclipse—with a lunar eclipse setting in the west in the early morning hours of November 8. So is the southeast coast of Greenland, Cuba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru.

What will the morning “selenium” eclipse be like?

For the eastern US, the Moon will rise fully at sunset. “Looking east, you can see the dawn breaking, but looking west you can see the Moon as a whole,” Reif said. The attraction here is physics – the red light in the rising Sun and in the clouds is the same red as on the Moon. “The light that passes over the observer’s head is what illuminates the Moon,” Reif said.

It’s a little easier to find a morning full moon, as you can find the Moon while the sky is still dark and watch the event unfold. Plus, those in the US will have just seen a bright “Blood Moon”, so the fine morning selenium will be a bonus.

Who will see an evening “selenium” eclipse?

“For an evening selenlion, you want Moonrise when it’s fully (or nearly fully) eclipsed, at sunset,” said Reif. “The eclipse lasts one hour and 25 minutes, so most people in Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bhutan and eastern India will have a lunar eclipse at sunset.”

An evening lunar eclipse – with a lunar eclipse rising in the east on the evening of November 8 – will be visible in Russia, Kazakhstan, eastern China, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Western Australia.

What will the afternoon “lunar” eclipse be like?

“The Moon rises fully eclipsed as the last sun sets,” said Rafe. “The Moon will be very faint and difficult to spot without binoculars. If there are clouds in the area, they will be red from the setting Sun.”

For a lunar sunset, it may take a while to find the dark Moon in twilight, Reiff advises.

Will I see a “selenium” eclipse?

An easy way to check if you will see a selenelion is to enter your location on the map at timeanddate.com. The light pink band with “partial of total eclipse visible” is the “lunar belt”.

How to see a “selenium” eclipse.

“Find a rooftop — the upper level of a parking garage is great — where you can see both the eastern and western horizons,” Reif said. In November, the Sun will be south of east at sunrise and south of east at sunset. while the full moon will be north of west at sunrise and north of east at sunset. “Having a clear horizon in both directions, you also have a chance to see the very red Sun rise or set almost simultaneously with the red lunar eclipse.”

Disclaimer: I am its author WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com

I wish you clear skies and open eyes.

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