May 29, 2023
Total Lunar Eclipse Leonid Meteor Barrage

Total Lunar Eclipse Leonid Meteor Barrage

The appearance of the moon during the total lunar eclipse in November 2022. Credit: NASA Science Visualization Studio

The moon turns red, plus Leonid meteors!

The Leonids will be fighting against moonlight this year, but anyone who sees the moon on the morning of November 8th can enjoy a lunar eclipse.

  • November 8 – full moon
  • November 8 – Total lunar eclipse in the hours before sunrise
  • November 11 – The moon appears right in between[{” attribute=””>Mars and bright blue-white star Elnath in the west before sunrise
  • November 20 – In the hour before sunrise, find the crescent Moon above bright star Spica in the southeast
  • November 18 – Look straight overhead for Leonid meteors after midnight. The Moon is about 35% full, and will diminish the fainter meteors.
  • November 23 – New moon
  • November 28 – The crescent Moon hangs beneath Saturn in the southwest after sunset
  • All month – The Leonid meteor shower is active throughout November, and peaks between midnight and dawn on the 18th.

What’s up for November? Lunar and lunar eclipses, planets and Leonid meteors.

A total lunar eclipse is on its way to provide some celestial magic early on the morning of November 8. The eclipse will be visible to viewers in North America, the Pacific region, Australia and East Asia – wherever the moon is above the horizon during the eclipse.


The moon moves from right to left, passing through the crescent and shadow, leaving in its wake a map of the eclipse with the times at different phases of the eclipse. The crescent moon is the part of the Earth’s shadow where the Earth only partially covers the sun. The shadow is where the sun disappears completely. Universe[{” attribute=””>Uranus is about 3 degrees (six Moon widths) north of the Moon during totality. It’s normally a bit too dim to see with the naked eye, but binoculars and small telescopes reveal it as a small, mint-green dot. Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

For observers in the Eastern time zone of the U.S. and Canada, the partial eclipse begins a little after 4 a.m. It reaches full eclipse at about 5:15 a.m. local time, and the Moon then sets while still in eclipse for you. For observers on the West Coast of North America, that translates to the partial eclipse beginning just after 1 a.m., and reaching full eclipse by about 2:15 a.m. You’ll be able to see the entire eclipse unfold before sunrise, weather permitting, as the Moon exits the dark part of Earth’s shadow (called the umbra) a few minutes before 5 a.m.

During a lunar eclipse, you’ll likely notice that you can see a lot more faint stars, as the usually brilliant full moon dims to a dull red.

During a lunar eclipse, you’ll likely notice that you can see a lot more faint stars, as the usually brilliant full moon dims to a dull red. And during this eclipse, viewers with binoculars can spy an extra treat – the ice giant planet Uranus will be visible just a finger’s width away from the eclipsed Moon.

Check the video map below to find out if the eclipse is visible from your area, and find lots more eclipse info from NASA at moon.nasa.gov.


This animated map shows where the lunar eclipse will appear on November 8, 2022. The outline describes the edge of the visibility area at moments of contact with the eclipse. The map is centered at 168° 57’W, the Moon’s subgeographical longitude at mid-eclipse. On November 8, 2022, the moon entered Earth’s shadow, resulting in a total lunar eclipse, the first since May. This animation shows the area of ​​Earth where this eclipse is visible. This region moves westward during the eclipse. Observers near the edge of the viewing area can only see part of the eclipse because for them the moon sets (at the eastern or right edge) or rises (at the western or left edge) during the eclipse. Contour lines mark the edge of the viewing area at moments of contact. These are the times when the moon enters or leaves the dark (the part of the Earth’s shadow where the sun is completely hidden) and the penumbra (the part where the sun is only partially dark). For observers on the contour line, the connection occurs at moonrise (west) or sunset (east). Credit: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio

In the morning hours of November 11, you’ll find the moon directly between Mars and the bright bluish-white star Elnath. Elnath is the second brightest star in the constellation Taurus, after the reddish Aldebaran, and forms the northern horn of Taurus. You’ll find that Elnath is about the same brightness as the star Bellatrix in nearby Orion, where it forms one of the hunter’s shoulders.

On November 20, an hour before sunrise, look southeast to find a thin crescent moon hanging over the bright bluish star Spica. It is a giant star, 10 times the mass of our Sun and 12,000 times brighter. Lucky for us, it’s 260 light years from Earth.

And in the evening sky on November 28, a beautiful crescent moon hangs below Saturn in the south after sunset.

The Leonid meteor shower is active throughout November. It peaks shortly after midnight on the 18th, with about 15 to 20 meteors per hour under a clear, dark sky.

At the height of the Leonid Night this year, the moon will be about 35% full, meaning it will affect your ability to see faint meteors.

The shower’s name comes from the constellation Leo, Leo, from which meteors appear to radiate. Meteors are dusty bits of debris left behind by Comet Temple-Tuttle as it orbits the sun. This comet was discovered twice independently.

At the height of the Leonid Night this year, the moon will be about 35% full, meaning it will affect your ability to see faint meteors. However, Leonid meteors are often bright, with tracks (also called trains) lasting for a few seconds after they cross the sky.

As the moon rises in the east in Leo around midnight local time, it’s actually best to view the sky further away from the meteor’s apparent point of origin by lying down and looking straight up, where any meteor trails you see will appear farther away and more spectacular. .

Here are the moon phases for the month of November.

Moon phases for November 2022. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Stay up to date with all of NASA’s missions to explore the Solar System and beyond at nasa.gov. I’m Preston Deshes of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and this happened this month.


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