A brace of ‘Blood Moons’ and couple of partial solar eclipses will grace our planet in the next 12 months.
Will 2022 be a legendary year for eclipse chasers? Possibly not, but don’t underestimate the appearance of two long total lunar eclipses inside the next 12 months. In fact, the ‘Blood Moons’ that will occur in May and November 2022 will be the final such events until 2025. Crucially, both total lunar eclipses will be visible in North America.
That’s not the case with the two solar eclipses that will grace planet Earth in 2022, both of which will be partial solar eclipses – one very remote and one easily seen by much of Europe.
Here’s everything you need to know about eclipse-chasing in 2022 – from when and where they’re happening to where you should go to enjoy them.
IMAGE: Creative Commons
April 30, 2022 – Partial solar eclipse
Max. obscuration: 64% in the Drake Passage
Visibility: Chile, Argentina, Antarctica (Google Map)
As well as hosting the final solar eclipse of 2021, Antarctica will stage the first one of 2022 when on April 30, 2022, a partial solar eclipse will see 64% of the Sun covered by the Moon as seen from west of the Antarctic Peninsula. It’s not an area frequented by expedition cruise ships, and certainly not in April.
A smaller partial solar eclipse will be visible in the south Pacific and southwestern South America, with Ushuaia, Argentina (picture above), and the terminus for the Pan-American Highway – aka the ‘end of the world’ – seeing a 52% eclipse Sun. Santiago, Chile will see a 28% eclipse.
May 16, 2020 – Total lunar eclipse
Duration of totality: 84 minutes
Visibility: North America and South America (Google Map)
Canada, the U.S., and South America get a great view, with Europe and Africa also getting a glimpse of a lunar eclipse at moonset. Canada, the U.S. and South America will see a totally eclipsed “Blood Moon” glowing reddish for 84 minutes. Europe and Africa will also see some of the event at sunset.
The key sight will be a Moon glowing a coppery red or burnt orange color, though perhaps with a brownish tinge. The colors of a “Blood Moon” are caused by the Earth’s atmosphere, which sent some scattered and bent sunlight onto the lunar surface.
October 25, 2022 – Partial solar eclipse
Max. obscuration: 82% in Siberia
Visibility: Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Russia, Central Asia (Google Map)
Although almost no one at all will see much of the April 30 partial solar eclipse, that’s not true of the following event on October 25. This event will be visible from across Europe, the Middle East, and western Asia, though the point of maximum eclipse is in Russia; Nizhnevartovsk in Western Siberian will see an 82% partial solar eclipse.
Although a small eclipse will be possible from the UK and Western Europe, key places to get a 50%+ eclipse include Helsinki, Finland: 54%, Murmansk, Russia: 64%, Moscow, Russia: 63%, Almaty, Kazakhstan: 70% and Tashkent, Uzbekistan: 68%.
November 8, 2022 – Total lunar eclipse
Duration of totality: 84 minutes
Visibility: Pacific Rim (Google Map)
Best observed from the west coast of North America with Australia and southeast Asia also in a good position, this eclipse is almost identical to the previous total lunar eclipse. Again a totally eclipsed Moon will be on show for 84 minutes.
A lunar eclipse occurs when a full Moon passes through Earth’s 870,000 miles/1.4 million km long shadow in space. They can only occur at full Moon.