May 17, 2022
This is really an eclipse for the Americas.NASA’s Noah Petro, a planetary geologist who specializes in the moon, explaining the significance of the recent “Blood Moon.” In parts of North America, the total lunar eclipse was visible for up to 1.5 hours.
- Why It Matters: On Sunday night, a lunar eclipse made the moon appear red (a phenomenon known as a blood moon) and was most visible from the Americas. The moon also appeared larger than normal because it occurred during a "super moon," when the moon is around its closest point to Earth.
- More about a "Blood Moon": NASA explains that "the same phenomenon that makes our sky blue and our sunsets red causes the Moon to turn red during a lunar eclipse." NASA also notes that "during a lunar eclipse, the Moon turns red because the only sunlight reaching the Moon passes through Earth’s atmosphere," which scatters the shorter wavelength of blue light easily, while red light's longer wavelength allows it to pass through and be seen by our eyes. The more clouds and dust in Earth's atmosphere, the more blue light they scatter — and the redder the eclipsed moon appears.
- The next time you can catch sight of a total lunar eclipse will be November 8. After that, there will not be another one until 2025.
Click here to watch NASA's livestream of the event
by Jenna Lee,