Celestial Seasonings – May 2022

By Heather Durham | April 30, 2022

Welcome to the astronomical event of the year … a full lunar eclipse!  This will create a Blood Moon. Hopefully, our weather will cooperate. Below is a snippet from Wikipedia about this event.

This occurs when the moon falls entirely within the earth’s umbra. Just prior to complete entry, the brightness of the lunar limb – the curved edge of the moon still being hit by direct sunlight – will cause the rest of the moon to appear comparatively dim. The moment the moon enters a complete eclipse, the entire surface will become more or less uniformly bright. Later, as the moon’s opposite limb is struck by sunlight, the overall disk will again become obscured. This is because as viewed from the Earth, the brightness of a lunar limb is generally greater than that of the rest of the surface due to reflections from the many surface irregularities within the limb: sunlight striking these irregularities is always reflected back in greater quantities than that striking more central parts, and is why the edges of full moons generally appear brighter than the rest of the lunar surface. This is similar to the effect of velvet fabric over a convex curved surface which to an observer will appear darkest at the center of the curve. It will be true of any planetary body with little or no atmosphere and an irregular cratered surface (e.g., Mercury) when viewed opposite the Sun. (Wikipedia, 2021, Total Lunar Eclipse).

Lunar Eclipse of May 16, 2022 - Dominic Ford


May 1. New Moon

May 3&4. Earthshine viewing a.k.a the Da Vinci Glow. Earthshine is caused by Sun reflecting off the surface of the Earth and back to the Moon.

May 6. N-Aquariid meteor shower. Our view of this shower, from the Constellation Aquarius may be best viewed just before dawn. These showers originate from Haley’s Comet.

May 8. There will be a n-Lyrid meteor shower today with best viewing, once again, is just prior to dawn. However, the Flower Moon will be at first quarter today and may interfere with shower viewing.

May 16. Today will bring a full Moon and a total lunar eclipse. It will begin at 10:28 pm through 1.55 am.  The total eclipse will be between 11:30 pm until 12.54 am. The Sun, Earth and Moon must be aligned for this to occur. As well, it can only occur with a full Moon and creates a reddish color – a Blood Moon.

May 22. The Moon and Saturn will rise to the right and closely approach one another.  The Moon will be in its final quarter.

May 24. The Moon and Jupiter will closely approach one another while rising to the right. The Moon, along with Mars will do the same on this date.

May 26. The Moon and Venus will rise to the right and orbit close to each other.

May 28. Mars and Jupiter will rise to the right together.

May 29. Mars and Jupiter will orbit close to each other.


References:

Ford, D. F. (2022). Astronomy. Retrieved from https://in-the-sky.org

Now Next. (February 2022). May 2022 Astronomical Events. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/w1BR7UI3SAA.

Now Next. (March 2022). 15-16 May 2022 Total Lunar Eclipse. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/a93ckEDOm00

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