Will UAE sky-gazers see a 'blood moon' in the coming days?

The second total lunar eclipse will occur on November 8


Nandini Sircar

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Agencies file
Agencies file

Published: Thu 12 May 2022, 1:44 PM

Last updated: Sun 15 May 2022, 7:12 PM

Sky gazers in the UAE waiting to see the first lunar eclipse of 2022 will be disappointed as the celestial event will not be visible in the country.

Between the night of May 15 and early hours of May 16, people in certain parts of the world will experience the total lunar eclipse witnessing a ‘blood moon’ that is named so, due to the reddish tint from the sunlight filtering through the Earth’s atmosphere.

This phenomenon will be visible across much of North America, all of South America, Central and Western Europe, and much of Africa (except the extreme eastern part).

Explaining the phenomenon, Hasan Al Hariri, CEO, Dubai Astronomy Group and Director Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre, opines, “This eclipse is a full eclipse which turns the Moon into a reddish colour and therefore it known as the blood moon. This is quite a nice phenomenon to observe. It will not be visible from Dubai or the UAE. That’s because it’s far away from us. It will start over Atlantic Ocean at 2:00am Greenwich Mean time. On May 16, the Moon will be a Full Moon for us. But the reddish hue will not be visible from here because the eclipse is not visible from our side.”

This total lunar eclipse with a blood moon being visible once again, will grace the sky after almost a year since the last total lunar eclipse.

This month’s full moon is also known as Flower Moon named after the wildflowers blooming in the Northern Hemisphere.

“The eclipse happens when the Moon goes into the Shadow of the Earth. So, the Sun, Earth and Moon will be in one line and the Moon gets eclipsed in this process. So, the light of the Moon becomes less, and it gets dark. But some of the scattered light that comes out from the atmosphere of the Earth reaches the Moon and instead of making it totally black the Moon becomes reddish. That’s because the red light has more penetration property than any other light. So, this makes the Moon (more) red in colour. There will be another eclipse on 25 October. We’ll have a partial eclipse which will be visible from the UAE,” he adds.

It’s said, the eclipse will last for a total of three hours and 27 minutes and the moon is expected to undergo one hour and 25 minutes of totality (when the moon will be completely covered by the Earth’s shadow).

The second total lunar eclipse will occur on November 8.

This will be visible in parts of Asia, Australia, North America, northern and Eastern Europe, and most of South America.

For those who can view the eclipse, the Moon can usually be observed from one’s own balcony or backyard with normal binoculars or a telescope to get a better view of this special event.

Experts opine it is the solar eclipse that requires special viewing precautions to avoid any kind of eye damage.

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