You may want to stay up late on Sunday night, May 15th, for a chance to see a total lunar eclipse that will be visible in West Michigan -- if the weather cooperates.

What is a Lunar Eclipse?

The Sun, Earth, and Moon all have to line up just perfectly for a lunar eclipse to happen. The Moon passes into the Earth's Shadow. When the entire Moon enters into the darkest part of the Earth's shadow (called the umbra), it is a total lunar eclipse. This situation also gives the Moon a reddish look -- sometimes referred to as a "Blood Moon".

Lunar Eclipse

How to View the Lunar Eclipse

Unlike a solar eclipse, where you need special glasses and filters to look at the Sun, a lunar eclipse can be viewed with the naked eye. To see it even better, you can use binoculars or a telescope. You should also try to be away from city lights for the best view. This total lunar eclipse will be visible to people in much of Africa, western Europe, both Central and South America, and here in most of North America.

When Does the Lunar Eclipse Begin?

Here is the breakdown on just how things will happen...

May 15th, 2022

9:32 pm -- The Penumbral Eclipse Begins. This is when the Moon begins to enter the Earth's outer shadow. The Moon begins to dim slightly.

10:27 pm -- The Partial Eclipse Begins. The Moon begins to enter the Earth's umbra (the darkest part of the shadow). The Moon will appear to look like a bite has been taken out of it.

11:29 pm -- Totality Begins. The entire Moon will be in the darkest part of the Earth's shadow. The Moon will take on a reddish color.

May 16th, 2022

12:53 am -- The Moon exits the Earth's shadow and the reddish color will begin to fade. The moon will still look as if it has a bite taken out of it, but this time on the opposite side.

1:55 am -- The Partial Eclipse Ends. While the Moon is in the Earth's outer shadow, the dimming of the Moon is very subtle.

2:50 am -- The Prenumbral Eclipse Ends. You can go to bed now, the party is over!

Will the Weather Cooperate on Sunday Night for the Lunar Eclipse?

The weather could make viewing the Total Lunar Eclipse a little tricky. Clouds are in the forecast for Sunday night. There is a good chance we can get a few breaks in the clouds during that time period. So you may not be able to watch the entire eclipse, but you might be able to get an occasional view of it.

It won't be quite the same as standing outside and watching it, but NASA will also be offering a live streaming feed of the Total Lunar Eclipse. Their coverage starts at 11 pm. You can watch it here.

Or check back to this story during the Lunar Eclipse to see the video here...

Here is a video from NASA explaining the Lunar Eclipse...


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