A total lunar eclipse will be visible this Sunday evening in Saint-Martin. It will turn red as the night goes on, as it passes through the shadow of planet Earth, hidden from the sun's rays.
Some Earthlings will be able to witness a total lunar eclipse overnight from Sunday to Monday.
This is a not-to-be-missed event for astronomy fans. You will be able to contemplate a total lunar eclipse. The nocturnal star will lose its brilliance and gradually turn red as the night progresses. This celestial spectacle is infrequent.
Why this phenomenon?
It occurs about twice a year, when the Sun, Earth and Moon are perfectly aligned, and the Moon is in its full phase. The star slips into the shadow of the Earth, which then shields the sun's rays, and gradually loses its white glow.
But it does not go out for all that: the Earth continues to send light from the Sun back to the Moon, via rays which take on a red tint through a process of refraction of the atmosphere.
What time to see her?
In the West Indies and Guyana, the show will be visible between 21:30 p.m. and 22:30 p.m., when the Moon is highest in the sky, then between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.
If the weather is bad, clouds spoil the party, NASA will broadcast the event live on Youtube. (go.nasa.gov/3yvguYI ).
Note that it is not necessary to use special glasses to observe a lunar eclipse, unlike solar eclipses. It is not dangerous. Think of binoculars or a telescope, which allow you to see a lot of detail on the surface of the Moon.
The next total lunar eclipse is scheduled for November 8, 2022, in the middle of the Pacific. In mainland France, the last dates back to January 2019 and the next will not take place until 2029.
V. Vasseur © AFP. Title photo © AFP / Ryo Aoki
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