Total eclipse of the Moon on 21 January, the last one before 2022

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WASHINGTON | The inhabitants of the Americas, a large part of Europe and West Africa will be able to observe a total eclipse of the Moon on the night of 20 to 21 January, the last before 2022.

For Europeans and Africans, the total eclipse will occur at the end of the night, a little before the rising of the Sun. The east of these continents will be less due to the rising of the day.

For the Americans of the North and the South, will be at the beginning or in the middle of the night.

The full Moon will be in Earth’s shadow from 3: 34. For the first time, it will be slowly “eaten” by the left. The eclipse will be total for an hour, according to the timetables provided by Nasa.

The total phase of the eclipse will be about three quarters of an hour shorter than that of the great eclipse of July 2018, which will remain the longest in the Twenty-first century.

During the total eclipse, the Moon will not be invisible: it will be red, as in all total eclipses.

This tint will be due to the fact that the Sun’s rays do not reach directly. Instead, a small portion of the red rays are filtered out by the earth’s atmosphere and refracted towards the Moon (the blue rays, they will diverge towards the outside).

This is the same phenomenon that colors in the red of sunrises and sunsets seen from the Earth.

“This is the last chance before a long time to see a total eclipse of the Moon”, told AFP Bruce Betts, a scientist-in-chief of the Planetary Society, an organization astronomical american.

The next total eclipse visible from Europe will be held on may 16, 2022, but the eclipses are partial will take place in the interval.

Of the total eclipses of the Moon can get two or even three times per year.

They correspond to a combination of circumstances unlikely: it is necessary that the Earth stands exactly between the Sun and the Moon.

It is also necessary that the sky be clear to enjoy it. The clouds are ruining often the show.

Lovers of astronomy will be able to compare the subtle variations of the red hue of the Moon this time. “It all depends on what there is in the atmosphere,” says Bruce Betts. “Just as sunsets change colour from one day to the other, the eclipses vary in function of the particles in the atmosphere, or if there is a volcanic eruption, for example.”

No telescope is needed to observe the eclipse. To see the craters of the Moon, the planétologue reminds us that a simple pair of binoculars may do the trick.