May 2022 Total Lunar Eclipse: How to See the Blood Moon in the UK

Everyone in the UK will be able to see the Moon event at its height on Monday when the Moon turns red

A series of six photos showing the total lunar eclipse ‘blood moon’ in Bishkek late July 27, 2018 (Photo by VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP via Getty Images)

The first total lunar eclipse of the year will take place on Monday – and part of it, skywatchers will see the Moon turn red.

In the early hours of Monday morning (May 16), an incredible Blood Moon eclipse will grace the skies.

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This will be the first lunar eclipse of 2022 taking place this year.

Here’s everything you need to know about lunar eclipses – and the best times to see the natural phenomenon.

What is a total lunar eclipse?

There are two possible types of lunar eclipses – lunar eclipses and solar eclipses.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth’s shadow is obscured by the Moon, while during a solar eclipse, the Moon will obscure the Sun’s view.

NASA The lunar eclipse occurs during the full moon phase.

“When the Earth is positioned precisely between the Moon and the Sun, the Earth’s shadow falls on the surface of the Moon, dimming it and sometimes turning the surface of the Moon a striking red for several hours.

“Each lunar eclipse is visible from half of the Earth.”

These types of lunar eclipses are often referred to as Blood Moon eclipses because the Moon’s red color is washed away during the event.

People gather to watch the “blood moon” lunar eclipse in Melbourne on July 28, 2018 (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

There are three different types of lunar eclipses that can occur:

  • A total lunar eclipse, is when the Moon moves into the inner part of the Earth’s shadow (umbra). Some sunlight passes through Earth’s atmosphere to the Moon’s surface, dimming it – the more dust or clouds in Earth’s atmosphere during a lunar eclipse, the redder the Moon than
  • A partial lunar eclipse, which occurs when the imperfect alignment of the Sun, Earth, and Moon results in the Moon passing only part of the Earth’s umbra – the shadow grows and then recedes without never completely covered the Moon
  • A rectangular eclipse, which is when the Moon passes through the Earth’s depression, or the faint outer part of its shadow – The Moon fades so slightly that it can be difficult to notice if you’re not specifically interested in it


In the early morning hours of Monday, May 16 in the Western Hemisphere, the Moon will enter Earth’s shadow, creating a total lunar eclipse – the first since May 2021.

It will be shown throughout South America, most of North America, and parts of Europe and Africa.

Here is the schedule for the eclipse listed by Royal Observatorybased in Greenwich, London – lunar eclipse times may vary by minutes for other parts of the UK:

  • 2:23 am: lunar eclipse will begin – Moon will begin to enter Earth’s zenith and will begin to darken
  • 3:27 am: partial lunar eclipse will begin – Moon will begin to enter Earth’s umbra, leaving its dent and will darken significantly
  • 4:29 am: total lunar eclipse will begin – Moon will fully enter Earth’s umbra and will begin to turn red
A photo shows the full moon during the “blood moon” lunar eclipse next to the church of Venzolasca, on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, on July 27, 2018 (Photo by PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA/AFP via Getty Images)
  • 5:06 am: maximum lunar eclipse – this is when the Moon will be closest to the center of the earth
  • 5:53 a.m.: total lunar eclipse ends – Moon will begin to leave Earth’s umbra and return to its zenith region, fading red
  • 6:55 a.m.: partial lunar eclipse ends – Moon will leave Earth’s umbra now and will lose its red color completely
  • 7:50 am: penumbra eclipse ends

Although the eclipse will last more than 5 hours altogether, viewers in the UK will only be able to see the eclipse from 2:32am to 5:10am, as the Moon will dip below the horizon at the end of the day. this period.

The optimal viewing time for UK skywatchers is between 4:29am and 5:06am.

The next total lunar eclipse will occur on November 8, 2022, however it will not be visible from the UK.

How can I watch it in the UK?

Although people in the UK won’t be able to see every part of the lunar eclipse, you will still be able to view the Moon event at its height, when the Moon has turned red.

Viewing eclipses is much safer than eclipses. While you should never look directly at a solar eclipse, it’s still safe to view the eclipse with the naked eye without specialized equipment.

The moon entered a maximum lunar eclipse on September 28, 2015 in Glastonbury, England (Image by Matt Cardy / Getty Images)

Since you can see the lunar eclipse directly, you can use binoculars or a telescope to magnify the view, but these are not specifically necessary.

All you really need to see a lunar eclipse is clear skies and a good view of the Moon from where you are.

Ideally, you should choose a viewing area with the least amount of light pollution to ensure an unobstructed view of the eclipse. May 2022 Total Lunar Eclipse: How to See the Blood Moon in the UK


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