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Bad timing for the total lunar eclipse on Monday

Bad timing for the total lunar eclipse on Monday

BERN – Next Monday, May 16, a total lunar eclipse will occur in the early hours of the morning. However, this will not be visible in Switzerland due to the hourly sunrise.

At 425 AM, the Moon will enter Earth’s shadow, an event that will be visible in good weather, MeteoSwiss predicted. The total lunar eclipse will begin at 5.29 am and, according to the Swiss Astronomical Society (SAS), will reach its maximum at 6.12. However, visibility will be disrupted at dawn, which begins about twenty minutes earlier.

This hourly coincidence makes observing the landscape difficult because “the morning sun below the eastern horizon really brightens the sky dramatically,” the Astronomical Society of Winterthur (ZH) noted in a note. For its part, SAS stressed that shortly before the onset of the total eclipse, almost nothing of the moon’s characteristic reddish color would be perceived for this phenomenon.

A lunar eclipse can only happen when the moon is full. When the latter enters the Earth’s shadow, it is completely shielded from direct sunlight and the full moon’s disk takes on a color ranging from copper red to bright orange.

A little less than four years ago, on July 27, 2018, the longest total lunar eclipse of the century occurred: in Switzerland from about 9:30 p.m. to 11:15 p.m., the disk of the full moon was tinged with a reddish light. For a total lunar eclipse of a similar length, we will have to wait a long time, and this is actually only expected in the year 2123.