A total lunar eclipse woke up viewers around the world this week and in a timelapse video, one can see the night sky light cut off dramatically to such an extent that the Galaxy suddenly erupts.
The awe-inspiring video was captured by the Gemini Observatory’s All-Sky camera at its facility in Hilo, Hawaii, and shows the eclipse darkening the sky and revealing the galaxy.
The All-sky camera at @GeminiObs South had a very good view of the lunar eclipse last night! Note the very sharp decrease in brightness between 12-17 seconds! #discover together #Eclipse #EclipseLunar # Eclipse2022 @NOIRLabAstro @NOIRLabAstroES pic.twitter.com/raOZFa9RyT
– US National Office for Twins (@usngo) May 16, 2022
As reported by Futurism, the Galaxy of the Galaxy appears for just three seconds in the above timelapse video, but took place in about an hour in real time. The powerful telescope at the Gemini Observatory in the south was able to detect detail in the sky as the eclipse dramatically darkened the view.
The total lunar eclipse occurred on a full moon, which would normally make an extremely bright night and therefore poor to see the galaxy through natural light pollution. But as the Earth cut off light from the Sun reflected from the moon, the sky dimmed significantly and revealed the galaxy to the camera.
The eclipse was the largest total lunar eclipse seen from America since 1989 and also happened to coincide with a “supermoon”, which occurs when the Moon is at its closest point to Earth.
When the Earth’s shadow falls on the Moon’s surface, it can sometimes fade or even turn red, which is why a total lunar eclipse with a full moon is sometimes referred to as the “Damn Moon”. This red appearance comes from the Moon passing through the shadow of the Earth, as the only light that strikes it has passed through the atmosphere of the planet.
It was not just the Gemini Observatory camera that chose the Galaxy, another photographer posted on Twitter a photo of the Galaxy, the Eclipse and the Moon in one photo.
Galaxy, Eclipse of the Moon and the Moon in a photo! How can a night get better ?!
11:39 p.m. CST, 15/05/2022@TamithaSkov @TweetAurora @CBCManitoba @ctvwinnipeg @TravelManitoba @TourismWestman pic.twitter.com/DGa8LEtXjd
– High Hopes Aurora with Justin Anderson (@AuroraJAnderson) May 17, 2022
Meanwhile, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti photographed the event from its position on the International Space Station.
A camera located at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile also captured a remarkable image of the galaxy with the lunar eclipse visible in the background as a large red sphere.
The crimson Moon shines above the Galaxy in the center left of the image, while at the bottom of the image is the 4-meter Víctor M. Blanco telescope (center) and the Curtis Schmidt telescope (left). NOIRLab explains that the eclipse seemed extremely dark in the southern hemisphere as a result of the ash from the 2021 Hunga Tonga – Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption.
For those who missed this lunar eclipse, another is scheduled to take place on November 8, 2022 and will be visible in parts of the United States and Asia.