Connect with us


Are Lunar Eclipses Dangerous? Your Questions Answered About The ‘Super Blood Flower Moon’ This Weekend – Forbes



On Sunday May 15 and into Monday, 16, 2022 a long total lunar eclipse—a “Blood Moon”—will be visible across North America.

Here’s everything you ever wanted to ask about this major celestial event:

What is a ‘Blood Moon’ eclipse?

It’s a total lunar eclipse, which occurs when the Earth gets precisely between the Sun and a full Moon. During the event the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow and turns a reddish color for anything from a few minutes to a couple of hours.

Are ‘Blood Moon’ lunar eclipses dangerous?

Is it safe to look at a lunar eclipse? Yes, it is absolutely safe at all times. Eclipse glasses are strictly for solar eclipses! According to NASA all the phases of a lunar eclipse are safe to view, both with your naked eye and through an unfiltered telescope. Observing a total lunar eclipse is no different to looking at the Moon at any other time. It’s arguably even safer because a regular full Moon can give off a lot of glare. Not so a “Blood Moon,” which will likely appear a very dark reddish color on May 15/16, 2022.

Why do we get a ‘Blood Moon?’

During a total lunar eclipse no direct sunlight gets to the lunar surface. The only light that gets through to the Moon’s surface is first filtered by Earth’s atmosphere.

In effect all of Earth’s sunrises and sunsets are projected onto the lunar surface at once. For a whopping 1 hour 24 minutes the Moon will be draped in the same reddish, orangey light that you can see just before sunset here on Earth.

Why is a ‘Blood Moon’ red

A totally eclipsed Moon is actually a reddish, orange and/or copper color—not red!

During the Moon’s long journey through Earth’s shadow on the only light that will reach the lunar surface will first have been filtered through Earth’s atmosphere. The physics is the same as for a sunset or sunrise. Short-wavelength blue light from the Sun hits molecules in Earth’s atmosphere and scatters, but longer-wavelength red and orange light mostly travels right through, striking fewer molecules. So the dominant color of light we’ll see on the Moon for that short time will be red …ish.

In fact, during a lunar eclipse the effect is like thousands of sunrises and sunsets being projected onto the lunar surface.

Is this ‘Blood Moon’ also a supermoon?

Technically, yes, but it’s not going to make any difference to how anyone experiences it. The Moon’s orbit around the Earth is egg-shaped, so during any month it reaches a point where it’s farthest away (apogee) and closest (perigee). When a full Moon falls on or near the date of perigee it can be called a supermoon” and to qualify for that status it has to be “within 90% of its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit” according to astronomer Fred Espenak’s definition.

The full “Flower Moon” will be 225,015 miles/362,127 km from Earth on May 16, 2022, so it’s technically a “supermoon,” though the full Moons of June, July and August 2022 are actually closer. The supermoon of July 13 will be the closest supermoon for 2022.

Why is is called a ‘Super Flower Blood Moon Eclipse?’

The “super” is explained above, but the “flower” comes from the fact that May’s full Moon is sometimes called the “Flower Moon.”

What will happen during the ‘Blood Moon’ eclipse?

A total lunar eclipse is really three eclipses in one—and it happens in five acts. The event begins when the full Moon enters the Earth’s outer shadow—its penumbra (a penumbral lunar eclipse). It then begins to enter Earth’s inner shadow—its umbra—and as it does so it begins to turn red (a partial lunar eclipse). Once the whole of the Moon is inside the umbra that’s totality—the Moon will have turned 100% red.

After 84 spectacular minutes of totality the entire event will go into reverse, with the Moon exiting the umbra, then the penumbra.

What is an ‘eclipse season?’

Every 173 days, for between 31 and 37 days, the Moon is lined-up perfectly to intersect the ecliptic—the apparent path of the Sun through our daytime sky and the plane of Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The result, of course, is a short season during which two—and occasionally three—solar and lunar eclipses can occur each two weeks apart.

Disclaimed: I am the editor of

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

Adblock test (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Joe Biden Wants to Put a Japanese Astronaut on the Moon – Gizmodo



Gateway, illustrated here, will serve as a crucial part of the upcoming Artemis missions.
Illustration: NASA

President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida further solidified their plans to send a Japanese astronaut to the upcoming lunar space station, while also affirming the possibility of having a Japanese astronaut walk on the Moon during future Artemis missions.

Biden and Kishida met in Tokyo on Monday to continue discussions around an Implementing Agreement that will potentially place a Japanese astronaut on the Gateway space station. The leaders also reaffirmed each country’s commitment to share data on climate change. The discussion around Gateway personnel is a part of ongoing conversations between the U.S. and Japan regarding NASA’s upcoming missions to the Moon.

Gateway is an integral component of NASA’s larger effort to return to the Moon, a series of upcoming missions known as the Artemis program. Once built, Gateway will serve as a Moon-orbiting outpost offering lunar-bound astronauts support for their visit. The lunar space station, in addition to serving as critical infrastructure for the Artemis missions, will also serve as a staging point for future crewed missions to Mars. The first pieces of the upcoming lunar station are set to launch no earlier than November 2024.

“In recent years, the alliance between Japan and the United States has grown stronger, deeper, and more capable as we work together to take on new challenges—just as important as the opportunities—of a rapidly changing world,” said President Biden in a NASA press release.

Japan and the U.S. are also interested in placing a Japanese astronaut on the surface of the Moon during a yet-to-be-determined Artemis mission, according to a White House fact sheet. NASA is looking to land astronauts on the lunar south pole by 2025, and Artemis will involve the first crewed Moon missions since Apollo 17 in 1972. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in the release: “Our shared ambition to see Japanese and American astronauts walk on the Moon together reflects our nations’ shared values to explore space responsibly and transparently for the benefit of humanity here on Earth.”

While the first pieces of Gateway are still a few years away from launch, having the U.S. and Japan team up is an opportunity to get more nations involved. The Artemis missions will be a global effort, and getting back to the Moon represents an exciting next step in space exploration and engineering.

More: This Tiny Moon-Bound Satellite Could Carve a Path For a Lunar Space Station.

Adblock test (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Crumbling comet could create meteor shower May 30 – Toronto Sun



Article content

A crumbling comet could create a meteor shower on May 30.

Article content

The ‘tau Herculids’ meteor display might be one of the most dramatic observed in over two decades, according to

Meteor showers occur when dust or particles from asteroids or comets enter Earth’s atmosphere at a very high speed, the U.K. Sun explained.

This one is expected to be the product of a comet named 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, also known as SW3.

SW3 was first discovered in 1930 but did not reappear again until the 1970s, Republic World reported.

In 1995, astronomers noticed that the comet’s nucleus split into four smaller chunks, according to CNET.

It has continued to disintegrate more in the ensuing years.

The display is expected to be very visible in the Northern Hemisphere as it is occurring on a Moon-less night.

A consensus of experts predicts that the shower will be visible starting from 1 a.m. EST on May 31.

It is suggested viewers will want to be outside at least an hour before this so your eyes have a chance to adjust to the dark.

“The southwestern USA and Mexico are favored locations as the radiant, the area of the sky where these meteors come from, will be located highest in a dark sky,” Robert Lunsford wrote for AMS.

“The outburst may be seen from southeastern Canada and the remainder of the (eastern) USA, but at a lower altitude.”

Adblock test (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Boeing capsule returns from space station after test flight with no crew – CBC News



Boeing’s crew taxi returned to Earth from the International Space Station on Wednesday, completing a repeat test flight before NASA astronauts climb aboard.

It was a quick trip back: the Starliner capsule parachuted into the New Mexico desert just four hours after leaving the orbiting lab, with airbags attached to cushion the landing. Only a mannequin was buckled in.

Aside from thruster failures and cooling system snags, Starliner appeared to clinch its high-stakes shakedown cruise, 2½ years after its botched first try. Flight controllers in Houston applauded and cheered the bull’s-eye touchdown.

NASA astronauts will strap in next for a trip to the space station. The space agency has long wanted two competing U.S. companies ferrying astronauts, giving it added insurance as it drastically reduced its reliance on Russia for rides to and from the space station.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is already the established leader, launching astronauts since 2020 and even tourists. Its crew capsules splash down off the Florida coast; Boeing’s Starliner returns to the U.S. Army’s expansive White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

This image from NASA TV shows the Boeing Starliner approaching the International Space Station last Friday. (NASA/The Associated Press)

Boeing scrapped its first attempt to reach the space station in 2019, after software errors left the capsule in the wrong orbit and nearly doomed it. The company fixed the flaws and tried again last summer, but corroded valves halted the countdown. Following more repairs, Starliner finally lifted off from Cape Canaveral last Thursday and docked to the space station Friday.

Station astronauts tested Starliner’s communication and computer systems during its five days at the space station. They also unloaded hundreds of kilograms of groceries and other supplies that flew up in the Boeing capsule, then filled it with empty air tanks and other discarded gear.

A folded U.S. flag sent up by Boeing stayed behind, to be retrieved by the first Starliner crew.

“We’re a little sad to see her go,” station astronaut Bob Hines radioed as the capsule flew away.

Along for the ride was Starliner’s test dummy — Rosie the Rocketeer, a takeoff on the Second World War’s Rosie the Riveter.

The repairs and do-over cost Boeing nearly $600 million US.

Adblock test (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading