Total Lunar Eclipse and Leonid Meteor Shower

Total Lunar Eclipse and Leonid Meteor Shower

Total Lunar Eclipse and Leonid Meteor Shower

Total Lunar Eclipse and Leonid Meteor Shower

The appearance of the moon during the November 2022 total lunar eclipse. Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

The moon turns all red, plus Leonid meteors!

The Leonids are battling the moonlight this year, but anyone facing the moon in the morning on November 8 can enjoy a lunar eclipse.

  • November 8 – Full Moon
  • November 8 – Total lunar eclipse in the hours before sunrise
  • November 11 – The moon appears directly between[{” attribute=””>Mars and bright blue-white star Elnath in the west before sunrise
  • November 20 – In the hour before sunrise, find the crescent Moon above bright star Spica in the southeast
  • November 18 – Look straight overhead for Leonid meteors after midnight. The Moon is about 35% full, and will diminish the fainter meteors.
  • November 23 – New moon
  • November 28 – The crescent Moon hangs beneath Saturn in the southwest after sunset
  • All month – The Leonid meteor shower is active throughout November, and peaks between midnight and dawn on the 18th.

What’s going on for November? A lunar eclipse, the moon and planets, and the Leonid meteors.

A total lunar eclipse is underway, to provide a little celestial magic, early in the morning of November 8. The eclipse will be visible to viewers in North America, the Pacific, Australia and East Asia — wherever the moon is above the horizon while the eclipse is taking place.

The Moon moves from right to left, passing through the penumbra and the umbra, leaving in its wake an eclipse diagram showing the times at different stages of the eclipse. 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 planet[{” attribute=””>Uranus is about 3 degrees (six Moon widths) north of the Moon during totality. It’s normally a bit too dim to see with the naked eye, but binoculars and small telescopes reveal it as a small, mint-green dot. Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

For observers in the Eastern time zone of the U.S. and Canada, the partial eclipse begins a little after 4 a.m. It reaches full eclipse at about 5:15 a.m. local time, and the Moon then sets while still in eclipse for you. For observers on the West Coast of North America, that translates to the partial eclipse beginning just after 1 a.m., and reaching full eclipse by about 2:15 a.m. You’ll be able to see the entire eclipse unfold before sunrise, weather permitting, as the Moon exits the dark part of Earth’s shadow (called the umbra) a few minutes before 5 a.m.

During a lunar eclipse, you’ll likely notice that you can see a lot more faint stars, as the usually brilliant full moon dims to a dull red.

During a lunar eclipse, you’ll likely notice that you can see a lot more faint stars, as the usually brilliant full moon dims to a dull red. And during this eclipse, viewers with binoculars can spy an extra treat – the ice giant planet Uranus will be visible just a finger’s width away from the eclipsed Moon.

Check the video map below to find out if the eclipse is visible from your area, and find lots more eclipse info from NASA at moon.nasa.gov.

This animated map shows where the lunar eclipse of November 8, 2022 is visible. Contours mark the edge of the viewing area at eclipse contact times. The chart is centered at 168°57’W, the lower moon during the mid-eclipse. On November 8, 2022, the moon will enter Earth’s shadow, creating a total lunar eclipse, the first since May. This animation shows the area of ​​the Earth where this eclipse is visible. This area shifts to the west during the solar eclipse. Observers near the edge of the field of view may only see part of the eclipse, because in front of them the moon is setting (on the eastern or right edge) or rising (on the western or left edge) while the eclipse is occurring. Contour lines mark the edge of the viewing area at the contact times. These are the times when the moon enters or exits the umbra (the part of the Earth’s shadow where the sun is completely hidden) and the penumbra (the part where the sun is only partially blocked out). For observers who are on a contour line, contact occurs at moonrise (west) or moonset (east). Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

In the early morning hours of November 11, the Moon lies directly between Mars and the bright blue-white star Elnath. Elnath is the second-brightest star in the constellation Taurus, after the reddish Aldebaran, and forms the northern horn of the bull. You’ll find that Elnath is about the same brightness as the star Bellatrix in nearby Orion, where it forms one of the hunter’s shoulders.

On November 20, in the hour before sunrise, look to the southeast and see a slender, crescent Moon hovering directly over the bright bluish star Spica. It is a gigantic star, 10 times the mass of our sun, and 12,000 times more luminous. Lucky for us, it’s located 260 light-years from Earth.

And in the evening sky, on November 28, after sunset, a beautiful crescent moon hangs below Saturn in the south.

The Leonid meteor shower is active throughout November. It peaks after midnight on the 18th, with about 15 to 20 meteors per hour under clear, dark sky.

At the peak night for the Leonids this year, the moon will be about 35% full, meaning it will interfere with your ability to see the fainter meteors.

The shower’s name comes from the constellation Leo, the lion, whose meteors seem to radiate. The meteors are dusty bits of debris left behind by Comet Tempel-Tuttle as it orbits the sun. This comet was actually discovered twice independently of each other.

At the peak night for the Leonids this year, the moon will be about 35% full, meaning it will interfere with your ability to see the fainter meteors. Leonid meteors, however, are often bright, with tracks (known as trains) lasting a few seconds after they cross the sky.

And while the moon rises with Leo in the east around midnight local time, it’s actually better to view the sky away from the meteors’ apparent point of origin by sitting back and looking straight up, as all the meteor trails you see looks appear longer and more spectacular.

These are the phases of the moon for November.

Moon phases November 2022

The phases of the moon for November 2022. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Stay up to date on all NASA missions to explore the solar system and beyond at nasa.gov. I’m Preston Dyches from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and that’s what’s going on this month.





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