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05/12/2022 – Ephemeris – There will be a total eclipse of the Moon this Sunday night/Monday morning

May 12, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Thursday, May 12th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 43 minutes, setting at 9:01, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:16. The Moon, halfway from first quarter to full, will set at 5:06 tomorrow morning.

Late Sunday night through early Monday morning May 15/16 there will be a total eclipse of the Moon which will run from 10:28 pm Sunday night to 1:55 Monday morning. I’ll be more specific tomorrow. Also known as lunar eclipses, these only occur at full moon when the Moon crosses the earth’s shadow. Usually, the Moon passes too far north or south to run into earth’s shadow. In only in one in six full moons does this happen. To see it, one has to be on the night side of the Earth. And it has to be clear at your location, a big problem around here. Our last lunar eclipse in November was clouded out from my location, which is usually my luck with lunar eclipses. However, May is a better month. Here’s hoping.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hours). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Lunar Eclipse Geometry

How lunar eclipses occur. Credit NASA/Fred Espenak.

05-16-22 Lunar eclipse diagram2

The eclipse occurs on the 16th for Universal Time, because the eclipse events take place after 8 pm EDT on the 15th. The Moon travels through the Earth’s shadow from right to left. What are seen are points of contact with the shadow and mid-eclipse. On the world map, locations in the white or light part of the map can see all or part of the eclipse. From Five Millennium Canon of Lunar Eclipses (Espenak & Meeus) NASA, with additions by me.

Contact times are labeled P1, U1, U2, U3, U4, and P4. P2 and P3 are omitted because they are synonymous with U1 and U4, respectively. Times are EDT unless noted:

  • P1 – 9:32:07 pm (1:32:07 UT) Enter the penumbra (unseen). By about 9 pm, the duskiness on the left edge of the moon will start to be noticeable. Wearing sunglasses to dim the bright Moon will help show the effect.
  • U1 – 10:27:53 pm (2:27:53 UT) Enter the umbra (partial eclipse begins).
  • U2 – 11:29:03 pm (3:29:03 UT) Totality begins.
  • Mid-eclipse 12:11:28.8 am (4:11:28.8 UT)
  • U3 – 12:53:56 am (4:53:56 UT) Totality ends, the egress partial phase begins.
  • U4 – 1:55:07 am (5:55:07 UT) Partial phase ends. The Moon’s upper right edge should appear dusky for the next half hour or so.
  • P4 – 2:50:48 am (6:50:48 UT) Penumbral phase ends (unseen).