Lunar Eclipse

This gallery contains videos and visualizations related to Lunar Eclipses

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2022 Visualizations

  • May 15-16, 2022 Total Lunar Eclipse: Shadow View
    2022.03.24
    Both movies and high-resolution still images are available for Eastern (above), Central, Mountain, and Pacific Daylight Time, as well as UTC. Also see the visibility map and Dial-a-Moon for this eclipse. On May 16, 2022 (the night of May 15 in the Western Hemisphere), the Moon enters the Earth's shadow, creating a total lunar eclipse, the first since May of 2021. This animation shows the changing appearance of the Moon as it travels into and out of the Earth's shadow, along with times at various stages. The penumbra is the part of the Earth’s shadow where the Sun is only partially covered by the Earth. The umbra is where the Sun is completely hidden. The Moon's appearance isn't affected much by the penumbra. The real action begins when the Moon starts to disappear as it enters the umbra at about 10:28 p.m. EDT on the 15th. An hour later, entirely within the umbra, the Moon is a ghostly copper color. Totality lasts for an hour and a half before the Moon begins to emerge from the central shadow. Throughout the eclipse, the Moon is moving throught the constellation Libra.
  • May 15-16, 2022 Total Lunar Eclipse: Telescopic View
    2022.03.24

    Dial-A-Moon

    1:00:00 — 7:29:50
    UT Hour: Minute: Second:



    Also see the shadow diagram and visibility map for this eclipse.

    The total lunar eclipse of May 16, 2022 (the night of May 15 in the Western Hemisphere) occurs near perigee, making the Moon appear about 7% larger than average. This eclipse is ideally timed for viewing from most of the Western Hemisphere, including the Lower 48 of the United States. The total phase occurs near moonset in Africa and western Europe.

    The sublunar point, the last line of the table above, is the point on the Earth's surface where the Moon is directly overhead. It's also the center of the hemisphere of the Earth where the eclipse is visible. The closer you are to that location, the higher the Moon will be in your sky. The eclipse percentage in the table is the fraction of the Moon covered by the Earth's umbra, the part of its shadow in which the Sun is completely blocked. The part of the shadow in which the Sun is only partially blocked is called the penumbra.

    The animations on this page run from 1:00:00 to 7:29:50 UTC, which is also the valid range of times for this Dial-a-Moon. The exposure setting of the virtual camera changes around totality in order to capture the wide dynamic range of the eclipse. The parts of the Moon outside the umbra during the partial phases are almost as bright as an ordinary full moon, making the obstructed parts appear nearly black. But during totality, our eyes adjust and reveal a range of hues painted on the Moon by all of Earth's sunrises and sunsets.

    All phases of a lunar eclipse are safe to view, both with your naked eye and an unfiltered telescope.

  • May 15-16, 2022 Total Lunar Eclipse: Visibility Map
    2022.03.24
    Also see the shadow diagram and Dial-a-Moon for this eclipse. On May 16, 2022 (the night of May 15 in the Western Hemisphere), the Moon enters the Earth's shadow, creating a total lunar eclipse, the first since May of 2021. This animation shows the region of the Earth where this eclipse is visible. This region shifts to the west during the eclipse. Observers near the edge of the visibility region may see only part of the eclipse because for them, the Moon sets (on the eastern or right-hand edge) or rises (on the western or left-hand edge) while the eclipse is happening. Contour lines mark the edge of the visibility region at the contact times. These are the times when the Moon enters or leaves the umbra (the part of the Earth's shadow where the Sun is completely hidden) and penumbra (the part where the Sun is only partially blocked). For observers located on a contour line, the contact occurs at moonrise (west) or moonset (east).

Videos

  • Lunar Eclipse Essentials - Updated
    2022.04.21
    When the moon passes through the Earth's shadow, it causes the Moon to look very unusual for a short period of time. This event is called a lunar eclipse, and it occurs roughly twice a year. Learn more about how lunar eclipses work in this video! * To Note: This is an updated version of a previous video that has been edited to remove references to specific dates of lunar eclipses. The purpose of doing so was to create a version of this informational product that could be used more broadly in educational settings. For original video, visit:
  • Need To Know: Lunar Eclipse and LRO
    2014.04.08
    On April 15th, 2014 there will be a total lunar eclipse visible from North America. Noah Petro, LRO Deputy Project Scientist, discusses this unique event and what effect it will have on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).
  • Understanding Lunar Eclipses
    2014.04.08
    What can cause the full Moon to quickly darken, then glow red? A lunar eclipse: a striking display of orbital mechanics that occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth's shadow. To learn more, watch the video below.
  • Supermoon Lunar Eclipse
    2015.08.31
    On the night of September 27th, 2015, a supermoon lunar ecllipse will be viewable in the night sky for those living in North and South America. Those living in Europe and Africa can view it in the early morning hours of September 28th. This video explains what a supermoon lunar eclipse is, and how rare it has been over the last century.
  • Hubble Views the Moon to Study Earth
    2020.08.06
    Taking advantage of the total lunar eclipse of January 2019, astronomers, using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, have measured the amount of ozone in the Earth’s atmosphere. The method used serves as a proxy for how they will observe earthlike planets around other stars in search for worlds similar to our own. For more information, visit https://nasa.gov/hubble. Visualizations: NASA/GSFC: K. Kim — Moonbounce Animation ESA, NASA and L. Calçada (ESO) — Artist's concept of exoplanet orbiting Fomalhaut ESA, Hubble, M. Kornmesser —Absorption Lines & Exoplanets NASA/GSFC: Chris Smith — TOI 700 system transit Animation ESA, Hubble, M. Kornmesser & L. L. Christensen — HD 189733b transiting its parent star (artist's impression) ESA, ESO/L. Calçada, M. Kornmesser & L. L. Christensen (ESA/Hubble) — Exoplanet Transit Method Videos & Images: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center European Space Agency Space Telescope Science Institute January 2019 Moon Image taken by Kevin Hartnett Artbeats Stock Footage — Footage of leaf Pond5 Stock Footage — Footage of weeping willow footagefirm — Footage of sunrise and clouds Music Credits: “Life Unplanned” by Paul Saunderson [ PRS ]. Abbey Road Masters [ PRS ], and Universal Production Music

More Visualizations

  • Lunar Eclipses and the Moon's Orbit
    2014.04.10
    The animations on this page illustrate the Moon’s orbit and its role in lunar and solar eclipses. A solar eclipse happens when the Moon’s shadow falls on the Earth, while a lunar eclipse happens when the Earth’s shadow falls on the Moon. Eclipses can only happen at New and Full Moon, when the Earth, Moon, and Sun are all in a straight line. But they don’t happen every New and Full Moon, because the Moon’s orbit is tilted by about 5 degrees. As the Earth and Moon travel around the Sun, the tilt of the Moon’s orbit changes direction relative to the Sun. This is analogous to the way the tilt of the Earth causes seasons. Just like winter and summer happen every six months, eclipses tend to occur on a roughly six-month cycle. Unlike most eclipse shadow diagrams, the first three animations here don’t greatly exaggerate the scale of the Earth and Moon. They are only 2x their true scale. The view is exactly perpendicular to the Earth-Sun line. The angle of the Moon’s orbital tilt and the “tapering” of the shadows are both accurate. The orbit happens to be calculated for the months preceding the April 15, 2014 total lunar eclipse.
  • LRO's Diviner during the June 15, 2011 Lunar Eclipse
    2011.06.13

    For Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), the lunar eclipse on June 15, 2011 is likely to be the longest and darkest of its life. This matters because LRO relies on sunlight to power its systems and instruments. Although it spends half of every orbit on the night side of the Moon, each night side pass lasts only an hour. For the June 15 eclipse, LRO will be in the dark for more than twice as long.

    During a previous total eclipse, LRO hibernated, turning off all of its instruments to conserve its battery power until the Moon emerged from the Earth's shadow. For the June 15 event, LRO will leave on the Diviner Lunar Radiometry Experiment. Diviner will measure the cooling of the Moon's surface during the eclipse. This unique temperature record is expected to reveal information about the roughness and composition of the swath of lunar surface visible to Diviner's sensors during the eclipse.

    The visualization archived on this page shows LRO flying over the lunar surface during the darkest part of the eclipse, with Diviner measuring temperatures along a swath about 3.5 kilometers wide. LRO will pass this part of the surface again during the eclipse, and it will tilt a bit so that Diviner can point at the same strip of lunar surface. The difference between the two temperature readings gives the rate of cooling at each point along the swath.

    Other visualizations in this series depict the view of the eclipse

    • from the Moon, where the event is a solar eclipse
    • along the shadow line, with the figures of the umbra, penumbra, and lunar and solar paths
    • through a telescope on Earth

    A narrated piece that uses these visualizations is in entry #10794. For an explanation of lunar eclipses, visit entry #10787.

  • Lunar Eclipse of April 15, 2014 As Viewed from the Moon
    2014.04.10
    In the early morning hours of April 15, 2014, the Moon enters the Earth’s shadow, creating a total lunar eclipse. When viewed from the Moon, as in this animation, the Earth hides the Sun. A red ring, the sum of all Earth’s sunrises and sunsets, lines the Earth’s limb and casts a ruddy light on the lunar landscape. With the darkness of the eclipse, the stars come out. The city lights of North and South America are visible on the night side of the Earth. The part of the Earth visible in this animation is the part where the lunar eclipse can be seen.
  • September 27, 2015 Total Lunar Eclipse: View from the Moon
    2015.09.01
    On September 28, 2015 Universal Time (the evening of the 27th for the Americas), the Moon enters the Earth’s shadow, creating a total lunar eclipse. When viewed from the Moon, as in this animation, the Earth hides the Sun. A red ring, the sum of all Earth’s sunrises and sunsets, lines the Earth’s limb and casts a ruddy light on the lunar landscape. With the darkness of the eclipse, the stars come out. The city lights of North and South America and of western Europe and Africa are visible on the night side of the Earth. The part of the Earth visible in this animation is the part where the lunar eclipse can be seen.