The first total lunar eclipse of 2022, so-called The Flower Moon, is about to dye the moon red Sunday night. “The lunar eclipse will take place starting around 9:30 p.m., Sunday, May 15,” said Longway Planetarium’s Manager Patrick Ross, who frequently gives astronomy lectures during the planetarium’s “Skies Over Michigan” live shows. 

   While lunar eclipses are not as rare as commonly portrayed, Ross said this eclipse will be special for Michigan residents. “At the start of the eclipse, the Moon will be visible near the horizon to the east. Totality will occur when the Moon is close to the meridian, or the imaginary line running from north to south across the night sky. When the Sun, Moon, or stars pass over the meridian, they are at their highest possible points in the night sky. This means the lunar eclipse on Sunday night will be far above the horizon and will be visible from any location without tall buildings or trees to the South.” 

   Ross also said that lunar eclipses are safe to look at with your eyes or a common telescope. “Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses do not require special eye protection.” 

   Eclipses of all forms occur when one object blocks another. In the case of a total lunar eclipse, the Earth intercedes between the sun and the moon. 

   If you’d like to learn more about the eclipse, or about constellations, stars and galaxies currently visible in Michigan’s skies, details will be presented during the regular Skies Over Michigan, a live, interactive astronomy talks Tuesdays through Sundays at 3 p.m. at Longway Planetarium.

   Because of the Genesee County Arts, Education & Cultural Millage, Genesee County residents get 50% off admission tickets. Go to SloanLongway.org/Skies-Over-Michigan to learn more.

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