The next full moon of the year has almost arrived and it coincides with a total lunar eclipse - a phenomenon is described as a “blood moon”. Many ancient civilisations associated blood moons with “evil intent”, for example The Conversation reports that the Inca people perceived the deep red colour like a Jaguar attacking the Moon causing it to bleed and feared that the Jaguar might then look to Earth for its next meal.
However, the event has moved from mysticism across millennia to mainstream pop culture which has led to new moon names like this month’s “Beaver Blood Moon”.
What is a blood moon?
According to Space.Com a blood moon is what “happens when Earth's moon is in a total lunar eclipse.
“While it has no special astronomical significance, the view in the sky is striking as the usually whitish moon becomes red or ruddy brown.”
NASA reports that the moon turns red during a lunar eclipse because the only sunlight reaching it has passed through the Earth’s atmosphere and the dustier the clouds in Earth’s atmosphere are the redder it will appear, it is as if “all the world's sunrises and sunsets are projected onto the Moon.”
When is the November full moon 2022?
According to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, the next full moon in 2022 falls on Tuesday, November 8 and it will peak at 11:02am in the United Kingdom. It is expected that in the latter stages of Monday night, November 7, it should appear at its largest.
Following this the next full moon will occur on December 8, the last of its kind in 2022.
When is the total lunar eclipse?
This November will feature a total lunar eclipse - also known as a “blood moon” - which will be the last of its kind for three years. Here is the timeline for the Beaver Blood Moon lunar eclipse of November 8:
Penumbral Eclipse (7:02am GMT) - the moon will enter Earth’s penumbra and the moon will start to subtly dim.
Partial Eclipse (8:09am GMT) - the moon will start to enter Earth’s umbra, it will appear like a bite has been taken out of the moon as a portion appears very dark.
Totality Begins (9:17am GMT) - now the moon will be entirely in the umbra, it will appear red.
Totality Ends (10:42am GMT) - the red colour will start to fade as the moon leaves the Earth’s umbra, once again it will look as though a bite has been taken out of it on the opposite side.
Can I see the total lunar eclipse in the UK?
Unfortunately, due to the timing of the eclipse - which starts at 7:02am - we will not be able to witness it live from the UK. It will be visible for those living in North and Central America, Australia and New Zealand, parts of Asia and Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.