It always amazes me how something astronomical can be in the making for such a long, long time and our view here on earth be ruined by a cloud that may have developed minutes earlier. (ha)
The forecast isn’t looking the best for tonight’s eclipse. The storms to our west that kept us dry this afternoon are sending their cloud tops our way this evening. Behind those cloud tops are showers and storms that are making their way eastward. They will lost strength and organization as they near us later tonight, but their clouds will likely prove a hindrance to the eclipse.
Nevertheless, it is certainly worth a look later this evening! I’ve even wondered if the clouds might even make the eclipse look even cooler, assuming they don’t cover it all up. Some of my best Full Moon pictures are taken with some clouds around the moon.
Temps will be very nice, only falling into the upper 60s by midnight.
The current satellite (7:00 pm) shows those clouds moving eastward. The thickest clouds are back around Memphis, where showers and storms are occurring. The wispy nature of the clouds you see nearing the plateau appear that way because they are literally being wisped off the top of the highest storm clouds. You’ll also notice the “popcorn” showers and storms that popped up over portions of East TN this evening.
The Moon rises at 7:24 p.m.
Visible redness from the lunar eclipse begins at about 9:30 p.m.
This eclipse is 100% safe to look at with both binoculars, telescopes or even the naked eye
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through earth’s shadow. The light of the sun actually passes through earth’s atmosphere to cast a reddish glow onto the moon. This is very similar to how the colors of a sunset occur. Some even say the moon reflects the light of all of earth’s sunsets during an eclipse.
|Global Event:||Total Lunar Eclipse|
|Local Type:||Total Lunar Eclipse, in City of Crossville|
|Begins:||Sun, May 15, 2022 at 8:32 pm|
|Maximum:||Sun, May 15, 2022 at 11:11 pm 1.413 Magnitude|
|Ends:||Mon, May 16, 2022 at 1:50 am|
|Duration:||5 hours, 19 minutes|
Interestingly, Aristarchus used a lunar eclipse to estimate the distance of the Moon and Sun from Earth. He made the calculation based on how the moon’s surface was covered by the shadow of the earth. And you thought common core math was complicated. (HA!)
The Eta Aquarids meteor shower peaked earlier this month, but if you see a “shooting star” tonight it may be from that shower. Meteors from that shower can be seen through the end of the month. The Eta Aquarids is one of two meteor showers created by debris from Comet Halley. The Earth passes through Halley’s path around the Sun a second time in October. This creates the Orionid meteor shower, which peaks around October 20.
These meteors tend to come from the southeast.
The International Space Station will fly over at 8:52 pm. It will be visible for six minutes, as it rises from the WSW horizon and then disappears on the northeast horizon. It will reach a maximum angle of 44 degrees.
Pictured below is the current crew of the ISS. As with the eclipse, hopefully clouds won’t obscure the view too much.
So, let’s cross our fingers and hope for some nice views tonight of the eclipse and the ISS! We might even hope to see a shooting star! Any time spent sky watching is time well spent. You all take care!