If you remember, Friends, this lunar eclipse was preceded by a solar eclipse – just a partial one. But the lunar will be full – almost central. This means that the Moon will plunge deep into the Earth’s shadow. And somewhere – where the eclipse will be visible – the Moon will suddenly be damaged, dim, darken, turn a thick crimson, and this will happen in the midst of a full moon night…
In quite ancient times, people’s attention was riveted to the Moon, which is not at all surprising, because people checked the entire order of their affairs precisely with the Moon, and when the Moon suddenly disappeared, even for a short time, there was a fear that, together with the Moon, the fruits of all measured according to the moon.
Now, in the lights of a large metropolis, few people will most likely notice the disappearance of the Moon. And in Russia and neighboring states, the eclipse will occur when the Moon is below the horizon – it’s annoying, but there’s nothing to be done.
Fortunately, on the Internet, which has not bypassed us yet, the total lunar eclipse on May 16, 2022 can certainly be viewed online. Moreover, if it could be seen from the balcony, and the weather would be the most suitable, still many people would prefer to watch it online – out of habit.
In addition, there is a lot of controversy online about the sphericity of the Earth. But it was the observation of lunar eclipses that convinced ancient astronomers that the Earth has a shape close to spherical. The conclusion was made on the basis of a study of the earth’s shadow, which hid the moon during eclipses. Situations were considered when the shadow was cast by the Earth in a variety of positions, and still showed the same rounded shape on the surface of the Moon. And what geometric body under any circumstances gives an equally round shadow?
Right! – Ball! Or something very close to a ball in shape.
Of course, modern controversy is raised among people who hardly had a good mark in geometry in school. But the ancient Greek thinkers with geometric knowledge were doing very well. In particular, it was the Greeks, or rather Aristarchus of Samos, who were able to compare the real sizes of the Earth and the Moon, from which it became clear that the Moon, according to such ancient measurements, is three and a half times smaller than the Earth. This is still considered to be the same. The error turned out to be small. But Aristarchus went further, and on the basis of these measurements he deduced that the distance from the Earth to the Moon is 33 Earth diameters. And the diameter of the Earth was then already known – thanks to the measurements of Eratosthenes – the predecessor of Aristarchus of Samos. And it turns out that, thanks to lunar eclipses and the science of geometry, people already knew two thousand years ago that the distance from the Earth to the Moon is about 400 thousand kilometers, or more than two million Greek stadia.
The astronomers of Egypt, Babylon, Persia, India and China knew then about the nature of lunar eclipses – that they are caused precisely by the shadow of the Earth, that they happen necessarily on a full moon, but – not every full moon. But then no one succeeded in going as far in the geometric knowledge of the world as the ancient Greeks did. Moreover, in the most aristocratic and noble communities, the sacred fear of eclipses continued to dominate, although their nature was unequivocally determined. But the powerful of this world did not want to admit the obvious then, sometimes they do not want to in our time – they rely on otherworldly forces, on divine chosenness and a great mission. It ends badly for them, as it ended for the Persian king Darius, who was defeated in the battle with Alexander the Great, because on the eve of the battle there was a total lunar eclipse. The eclipse was seen simultaneously by both Darius and Alexander. Darius took it as a bad sign. Alexander, who studied philosophy, geometry and astronomy with the great Aristotle – the predecessor of Aristarchus of Samos – understood that the lunar eclipse is just an astronomical phenomenon, not a sign of the gods, and does not affect the outcome of the battle in any way.
It may seem strange, but people still believe that some covenants of ancestors or spiritual bonds can decide the outcome of the battle, when at all times clarity of mind and sober calculation won and win.
Sober calculation shows that the eclipse will begin at half past five in the morning Moscow time. For the entire Earth, the Lunar Eclipse occurs simultaneously – observers from different continents simply look at the Moon and simultaneously see the same changes in its illumination. Let me remind you that with a solar eclipse the situation is fundamentally different – there the moments of the beginning and end of the eclipse are determined by when the lunar shadow covers one or another settlement, and in the neighboring settlement the eclipse will come earlier or later, with a larger or smaller phase, or not at all .
A lunar eclipse all over the Earth looks the same and at the same time, if it is visible at all in one or another geographical point.
At the beginning of the penumbral phases of the eclipse in Moscow, the Moon will already be under the horizon. A similar situation will be throughout Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic countries.
In the countries of central and eastern Europe, before the moon sets, you can catch only the phases of a penumbral eclipse, which are not visible to the eye – the moon both shone and shines – there is no decrease in brightness.
In the countries of Western Europe, it will be possible to observe the shadow phases of the eclipse, including the complete immersion of the Moon in the shadow. And only in Spain and Portugal will the moon emerge from the shadow – just before it sets beyond the horizon and the sun rises.
As you can see, the conditions for observing a lunar eclipse in Europe will be so-so. They will be about the same in West Africa.
The eclipse will be much better observed in North America – on the east coast it will be visible in full. On the west – only the end.
Ideally, the eclipse will be visible in South America, which is not surprising, because now the winter season is coming there, and the full moon is best seen in winter.
In most of Antarctica, on May 16, the Moon will not be a setting star, and the Sun will not be a rising one, because the polar night has come there. And the upcoming eclipse in Antarctica will be visible from beginning to end, but quite low above the horizon, framed by ice blocks of icebergs.
Album “Music of the Celestial Spheres – Part 2 – Birth, Life and Death”, melodically illustrating the entire cycle of lunar phases, including a total lunar eclipse: