The moon will be eclipsed over Kamloops, Okanagan tonight | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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The moon will be eclipsed over Kamloops, Okanagan tonight

This photo of a total lunar eclipse, also known as a Blood Moon, was captured in January 2019.
Image Credit: Jack Newton

- This article was first published May 7, 2022.

There will be a lunar eclipse on May 15 when the moon falls into the earth’s cone-shaped shadow, and it will be happening at a reasonable hour for skywatchers in Kamloops and the Okanagan.

The eclipse will be in a state of totality for an hour and 25 minutes, and for anyone on the west coast of North America, it will be the longest prime time-totality of the 21st Century, according to timeanddate.com.

Prime time means the peak viewing period of an event occurs between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.

With only a tiny fraction of the sun’s light reaching the moon during a state of eclipse, it can be difficult to see with the naked eye, according to Osoyoos astronomer Jack Newton.

“Lunar eclipses are fun to photograph if you’ve got a telephoto lens,” he said.

One idea for a photographer, Newton suggests, is to take 10 photos of the moon from the same spot, with the timing equally spaced out over the course of a few hours, to capture the solar system in motion.

READ MORE: Telescopes in short supply as interest in night sky viewing grows thanks to COVID-19

He also recommends using binoculars to get a better view of the eclipse. 

“You’ll usually see it as a reddish-hue to the moon. They’re all different, not dramatically, but it depends how deep the moon gets into the earth’s dark umbral shadow.”

In Kelowna, the eclipse will have begun by the time the moon rises at 8:31:15 p.m. on May 15. In Kamloops, the eclipsed moon will rise at 8:37:59 p.m.

For people who are familiar with star patterns, Newton says the eclipsed moon will rise near the Libra constellation.

The period of totality will end at 9:53:55 p.m. in Kamloops at the Okanagan.

Then the moon will enter a phase of partial eclipse until the earth’s shadow falls completely out of alignment.

But the cosmic phenomenon can only be enjoyed if the weather cooperates. According to the Weather Network, Kamloops, Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton are all expected to be cloudy with showers on May 15, but that could change. 

The lunar eclipse from January 2019.
The lunar eclipse from January 2019.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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