Blood moon eclipse happening Sunday night

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 9:39 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - This weekend the moon is waxing to an impressive full supermoon status and will top things off with a blood moon eclipse on Sunday night. Here in central Wisconsin, that comes just when the weather is clearing so it can be seen.

“The cloud cover Sunday night will break up in time for the lunar eclipse to be seen, and that’ll start in the evening hours,” said WSAW meteorologist Chad Franzen.

The moon will look like it’s going through a month’s worth of phases in an hour until it’s completely in alignment with the sun and Earth.

“That’s when you start to get some of these bright and vibrant colors until it goes into a total eclipse and then you won’t see it for about an hour and a half,” Franzen said.

Sunlight bending around and through Earth’s atmosphere will cause the moon to appear to glow red.

“Just the same reason when you go out at sunset or sunrise the horizon turns that beautiful red-orange color. But now imagine all of the sunrises and sunsets of the Earth get projected on the surface of the moon,” said NASA LRO Project Scientist Noah Petro.

The ozone layer absorbs all the blue and green light leaving just the red for us to see. Unlike a solar eclipse, it’s safe to look at with the naked eye.

“If you were standing on the moon, that is all that you would see, that orangish reddish glow from all of the sunsets and all of the sunrises across Earth that are being projected through the Earth’s atmosphere and onto the surface of the moon,” said Lunar Scientist Brett Deveni.

The best views can be found somewhere without a lot of artificial light getting in the way.

“Find your ideal location whether it’s in your backyard or on the top of your building or in some location where the beautiful unobstructed view of the sky. You want to be clear of bright lights and tall buildings around you if you can,” Petro said.

The spectacle is impressive whether seen in its entirety or when the eclipse is at its peak.

“The time will be 8:32 p.m. when it begins and you’ll start to see the partial eclipse local time at 9:27 Sunday night. The total eclipse runs from 10:29 p.m. to approximately 11:53 p.m. Sunday night, so that’s when it’s completely in the shadow of the Earth,” Franzen said.

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