Lunar Eclipse - Morning of November 8, 2022
A total lunar eclipse will take place the night of Monday, November 7 to Tuesday, November 8, 2022. This eclipse will be visible everywhere in Canada, but the timing might make it difficult to observe!
For people in Eastern Canada, the eclipse will be in the early hours of the morning and the Moon will set still eclipsed at sunrise. We will need to get up early to be able to observe it. For people in the West, the eclipse will occur in the middle of the night. More precise details are given below.
What is a lunar eclipse?
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the shadow of the Earth (called the umbra). This phenomenon can only occur on full moon nights since that is when the alignment is perfect for an eclipse.
What will we see?
The eclipse takes place over a period of a few hours. The eclipse officially begins when the Moon enters the penumbra of the Earth while moving in its orbit. However, this change in luminosity is hardly perceptible to the eye. For most people, the real show begins when the Moon slowly enters the Earth's shadow, called umbra. A part of the Moon then seems to be missing since it is no longer illuminated by the Sun. This is the partial eclipse.
For people in the Eastern time zone, the partial eclipse will begin at 4:09 a.m. and progress until 5:16 a.m., when the Moon will be completely in the Earth's shadow. This is the total eclipse. During the total eclipse, the Moon is still visible but much darker and takes on an orange-red hue. The total eclipse will last until 6:41 a.m., a few minutes before the Moon sets below the horizon. Get up early and look west to see the show! The eclipsed Moon should be a nice sight, but you should get up before 6:15 a.m., and maybe even before if the western horizon is obstructed from your place (the Moon will be quite low on the horizon). The view of the reddish moon on the horizon should be worth it!
In the Pacific Time Zone, the partial eclipse will begin at 1:09 a.m. and the total eclipse will be from 2:16 a.m. to 3:41 a.m. The second phase of the partial eclipse will then be visible until 5:56 a.m.
To get the exact times for your location, you can use timeanddate.com or simply convert from the image above to your time zone, by adding or subtracting hours.
Is it dangerous to observe a lunar eclipse?
No! Since we are looking at the Moon, the observation is completely safe. It is dangerous to observe the Sun, including during a solar eclipse, but the Moon is always safe.
A challenge to observe, but still a good opportunity for education!
It will probably be difficult for many students to observe this eclipse but don't hesitate to talk about it in class. Here are some resources to help you:
PowerPoint presentation on the Moon, including eclipses (right-click to download)
Explanatory video on eclipses, created for one of our workshops
Questions to investigate with your students
Most of the answers are in the PowerPoint and video links above!
Why do lunar eclipses only happen at full moon?
Why don't we have eclipses every month?
What's the difference between a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse?
When is the next eclipse visible from your location?