A total lunar eclipse can be admired in Germany next Monday. Then the shadow of the earth moves over the full moon. However, early risers do not have the same chances of the celestial event everywhere.
Next Monday (May 16) sky-gazers can observe a total lunar eclipse - although not in all regions of Germany. Because in some places the Earth's satellite will already disappear behind the horizon in the southwest before it completely dips into the Earth's shadow. In addition, the sky is already quite bright by then. Observers can sometimes only follow a partial lunar eclipse, as the chairman of the Association of Star Friends in Germany, Sven Melchert, explained.
The totality begins at 5:29 a.m., exactly when the Trabant is setting, as seen from the center of Germany, said Melchert. Further to the east you miss this spectacle, further to the west you can watch the total phase for a short time, if the weather cooperates. The middle of the eclipse is reached at 6.12 a.m., the total phase ends shortly before 7 a.m.
"A lunar eclipse describes the astronomical process in which the moon moves through the shadow space of the earth," says the website of the German Weather Service in Offenbach. Such an event only occurs on a full moon and when the sun, earth and moon are exactly in line in space. However, it does not automatically occur with every full moon. "The reason for this is that the orbit of the moon around the earth is inclined by about five degrees compared to the orbit of the earth around the sun, in which the earth's shadow is located," says the DWD. Therefore, the full moon usually passes below or above the shadow of the earth.
According to Melchert, in Germany next Monday you need a clear view of the southwest horizon in addition to a clear sky. At just before 4:30 a.m., the moon enters the umbra of the earth. For many, however, it will be over at around 5 a.m. because of the setting moon, when the moon has entered half of the shadow of the earth. The spectacle can be observed better in the west of France, in Spain, West Africa and the Canary Islands. There are optimal conditions for onlookers in the east of the USA and throughout South America.