Science

A total lunar eclipse and the Leonid meteor shower

A total lunar eclipse and the Leonid meteor shower

Appearance of the Moon November 2022 Total Lunar Eclipse

The appearance of the Moon during the November 2022 Total Lunar Eclipse Credit: NASA Science Visualization Studio

The moon turns red, plus the Leonid meteors!

The Leonids will be battling moonlight this year, but anyone with a view of the moon on the morning of 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 in 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 in store for November? Lunar Eclipse, Moon and Planets and Leonid Meteors.

A total lunar eclipse is on its way to provide some celestial magic early on the morning of November 8. The eclipse will be visible to viewers in North America, the Pacific region, Australia and East Asia – wherever the Moon is above the horizon while the eclipse occurs.


The moon moves from right to left, passing through the penumbra and umbra, leaving behind a time-lapse diagram of the eclipse at different phases 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 the place where the Sun is completely hidden. 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 is visible on November 8, 2022. Contours mark the edge of the area of ​​visibility at the time of eclipse contact. The map is centered at 168°57’W, the sublunar longitude at mid-eclipse. On November 8, 2022, the Moon enters 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 moves west during the eclipse. Observers near the edge of the visible area can only see part of the eclipse because for them the Moon is setting (on the eastern or right edge) or rising (on the western or left edge) as the eclipse occurs. Contour lines mark the edge of the visibility area at 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 the penumbra (the part where the Sun is only partially blocked). For observers located on the contour line, contact occurs at moonrise (west) or moonset (east). Credit: NASA’s Science Visualization Studio

In the morning hours of November 11, you’ll find the Moon directly between Mars and the bright bluish-white star Elnath. Elnath is the second brightest star in the constellation Taurus, after reddish Aldebaran, and forms the northern horn of the bull. You will 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 to find the thin, crescent Moon hanging just above the bright bluish star Spica. It is a giant star, 10 times the mass of our Sun and 12,000 times brighter. Fortunately for us, it is 260 light years from Earth.

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

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 skies.

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

The rain’s name comes from the constellation Leo, the lion, from which its meteors seem to radiate. Meteors are dusty pieces of debris left behind by Comet Tempel-Tuttle as it orbits the Sun. This comet was actually discovered twice, independently.

At the peak of the night for the Leonids this year, the Moon will be about 35% full, meaning it will interfere with your ability to see fainter meteors. However, Leonid meteors are often bright, with trails (also called trains) lasting several seconds after they pass across the sky.

And while the Moon will rise in the east in Leo around midnight local time, it’s actually better to look at the sky further away from the meteor’s apparent point of origin, by lying down and looking straight up, because any meteor trails you see will appear longer and more spectacular.

These are the phases of the Moon for November.

November 2022. Moon phases

Moon phases for November 2022. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Stay up to date with all of NASA’s 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 happening for this month.





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