Full Moon Lunar Eclipse May 2022

Posted by Trina Berwick on

Full Moon Lunar Eclipse May 2022 

The Full Moon in May is known as the Flower Moon. Other names include the Milk Moon, Planting Moon and sometimes named the Hare Moon.

On May 15/16 2022, depending on your time zone, the Flower Moon will be in total eclipse and will turn red - this is where the name Blood Moon comes from.

This eclipse is the 3rd in a series of 4 big lunar eclipses in 2 years. 3 of these 4 eclipses are a total lunar eclipse, while the one in November 2021 was such a deep partial eclipse that it was almost a total eclipse.

Out of focus cherry blossoms framing a sharp Full Moon in the middle of the image.

The Flower Moon is named after the abundant flowers that grow in the Northern Hemisphere in May.  ©iStockphoto.com/kumikomini

The complete phase of this Blood Moon total lunar eclipse will be visible in parts of the Americas, Antarctica, Europe, Africa, the east Pacific, New Zealand, eastern Europe and the Middle East, but as you can see from the visibility diagrams, what you see depends on where you are located.


Visibility map of the May 15 to 16, 2022 lunar eclipse. (Image credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio)

It will be visible in total phase from portions of the Americas, Antarctica, Europe, Africa and the east Pacific. The penumbral eclipse will be visible in New Zealand, eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Blood Moon
The term Blood Moon is often used to describe 4 total lunar eclipses in a row.  A total lunar eclipse is also often given the name Blood Moon due to the reddish tinge it shows when fully eclipsed.  

Illustration of how Earth's atmosphere scatters blue light.A totally eclipsed Moon can take on a reddish glow.  ©iStockphoto.com/Sjo

Why does it appear red?

The reason the Moon takes on a reddish colour during a total lunar eclipse is a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering.

The Earth's atmosphere condition plays a big part in the colour of the Moon. The amount of pollution, dust from volcanic eruptions and storms can affect the depth of red the Moon takes on during the total lunar eclipse.

Rayleigh Scattering is also responsible for causing the colour of sunrises and sunsets, and for the sky to look blue. 

  Image of Full Moon red in color due to refraction with dark sky in the background.

A totally eclipsed Moon can take on a reddish glow. ©iStockphoto.com/Sjo

Brightness Scale

Scientists measure the appearance and brightness of a total lunar eclipse using a five-point scale— ranging from 0 to 4— called the Danjon Scale (see image). A lunar eclipse is ranked and assigned a value on the scale at the time of mid-totality. 

Illustration image

The Danjon Scale was created by French astronomer, André-Louis Danjon.


Did you know that an eclipse is never alone?

A solar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse.

Usually, there are two eclipses in a row, but other times, there are three during the same eclipse season.


Read our Full Moon Magic blog here.


Information sourced from Timeanddate.com - 2022

full moon lunar eclipse may 2022 australia

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