When is the next one in Germany?

lunar event
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Lunar Eclipse 2022 – When and where can the next blood moon be seen?

It used to be a threatening sign for people, which they interpreted as the wrath of the gods, for example. Today we have long known that a lunar eclipse is a beautiful natural spectacle to behold. The moon turns a color somewhere between red and orange. That is why a lunar eclipse is popularly known as a “blood moon”.

How does a lunar eclipse occur?

Basically one works lunar eclipse as a solar eclipse. Just in a slightly different order. And it is only possible on a full moon. During a solar eclipse, the moon is on a line between the sun and the earth.

During a lunar eclipse, the constellation is reversed. Then the earth is between the sun and the moon. A lunar eclipse can only occur when all three are exactly in one line. “The phenomenon known as a total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth moves between the Moon and the Sun, blocking the light that would normally illuminate the surface of our orbiting neighbor when the Moon is in the umbra of the Earth,” explains the European Space Agency ESA on your website.

This phenomenon can occur up to three times a year and always lasts several hours. One counts from the moment when the moon enters the shadow of the earth to the moment when it emerges from the shadow. In most cases, a total lunar eclipse occurs. Then the entire moon enters the shadow of the earth. But sometimes it also happens that only a part wanders through the shadow. Then astronomers speak of a partial lunar eclipse.

Because the moon’s orbit around the earth is inclined by about five degrees, the spectacle does not repeat itself every month. In most cases, the moon moves above or below the shadow of the earth. The fact that it can be seen glowing is because it reflects the light of the sun. But he can’t do that during a lunar eclipse. And that’s exactly why the moon’s wondrous discoloration occurs. On its website, the German Aerospace Center explains space travel (DLR) that this is because “the long-wave red light of the sun’s rays is refracted and directed in the direction of our satellite, while the short-wave blue light waves are completely scattered in the earth’s atmosphere. In addition, dust and ash in the upper atmosphere ensure the rich color , which makes the lunar eclipse a spectacular event.” This is only possible because the earth is around four times larger than the moon when you compare the diameters. Therefore, the shadow of the earth is about four times larger than that of the moon.

Since people have already been to the moon and further moon missions are being planned, this is also interesting: “If there were astronauts on the moon at the time of the lunar eclipse, they would not experience complete darkness. But the astronauts would experience this spectacle differently: as one solar eclipse caused by the earth,” explains DLR on its website. Seen from the moon, the earth would obscure the sun.

For fans of the moon and space travel, the partial lunar eclipse on July 16, 2019 was a special event. It happened on the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11 mission. Fittingly, the ISS could be seen in the sky twice on the same night. In order to be able to observe a lunar eclipse perfectly, you need above all good weather, ideally a cloud-free sky. Places where there is almost no light are ideal. That is why, for example, many observatories open their doors to visitors on such nights. You can also observe a lunar eclipse well if you are in a star park such as the Eifel National Park or the one on the Winklmossalm near Reit im Winkl. In such an area you can also see the perfect starry sky and have a very special experience.

What is the difference between the partial and total lunar eclipse?

The difference between a partial and a total lunar eclipse is actually very simple. During a total lunar eclipse, the moon disappears completely in the umbra of the earth and glows red-orange. At least that’s what it looks like from Earth. During a total lunar eclipse, the moon can therefore be seen for some time in this very special light, which is caused by the refraction of light in the atmosphere and which is reflected by the moon.

During a partial lunar eclipse, as the name basically suggests, only part of the moon is covered by the umbra of the earth. Although this is only an optical impression. In fact, during a partial eclipse, the moon only partially crosses the orbit of the earth’s shadow.

Dates: When and where is the next lunar eclipse?

You have to look closely to spot a lunar eclipse. The next lunar eclipse will take place on May 16, 2022. The total lunar eclipse can be observed in the early morning hours from central Europe in its first half.

These are the dates for the next lunar eclipse:

  • November 8, 2022 at 08:02 – total lunar eclipse
  • May 5, 2023 at 3:14 p.m. – penumbral lunar eclipse
  • October 28, 2023 at 6:01 p.m. – partial lunar eclipse
  • March 25, 2024 at 04:53 – penumbral lunar eclipse
  • September 18, 2024 at 12:41 am – partial lunar eclipse
  • March 14, 2025 at 06:58 – total lunar eclipse

When is the next total lunar eclipse in Germany?

In Germany it is coming May 16, 2022 to the next total lunar eclipse. In Frankfurt, this event looks something like this: the lunar eclipse begins with a penumbral eclipse at 3:32 a.m. and turns into a partial lunar eclipse at 4:27 a.m. At 5:29 am, the Moon is slightly above the horizon and appears as a red-tinted disk covered by the umbra. In order to be able to observe the lunar eclipse well, you should go to a high place. Peak eclipse reached at 5:36 am. At 5.40 a.m. the spectacle is over.

How often does a lunar eclipse occur?

Actually quite often. There are about 380 lunar eclipses per century, which we can observe from different places around the world. This means that the lunar eclipse occurs somewhat more frequently than the solar eclipse. On average, this event can be observed every two and a half years in Germany alone. Why these processes can be calculated so precisely has something to do with the so-called “celestial mechanics”, as astrophysicist Harald Lesch explained to “Deutschlandfunk” during the “great lunar eclipse” of 2018: “The big story that actually has to be told , is: Why can we calculate it so precisely? How can we know so precisely where the stars are, when the lunar and solar eclipses are coming? This has to do with the fact that we discovered the laws of heaven, starting 400 years ago with it, and that this celestial mechanics also led to the idea: If we can calculate things in the sky, then we can also calculate nature on earth, because it was clear from the beginning: Whoever controls the sky, controls it also the earth. Ultimately, this gave rise to the idea that we can actually calculate everything in nature.” However, in the same interview, Lesch warns against believing that everything that makes the universe mysterious can be deciphered on the basis of known physical relationships: “(…) For God’s sake! We haven’t understood heaven yet. But we have discovered some laws , which make it possible for us, for example, to calculate the orbits of celestial bodies such as planets, but also of moons, asteroids and comets so precisely that we can fly there with probes, for example. Think of the great Rosetta experiment, what approached the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko at the time, which was a magnificent navigational achievement.

That means these mechanical laws in our solar system, which we have understood very well. There are many other things that we have not understood, and whether we are alone in the universe we still have not been able to clarify. But we are looking. We’re finding extrasolar planetary systems, systems around other suns, and who knows, maybe one morning we’ll talk on Deutschlandfunk about what to do with the fact that there’s life on other planets.”

Here is the photo gallery: Spectacle in the sky – The total lunar eclipse and the blood moon

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