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Lunar eclipse ‘Blood moon’:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.



On 16 May 2022, a total lunar eclipse or Chandra Grahan will occur over South America, most of North America and parts of Europe and Africa.

  • This will be the second eclipse of the year, after the April 30/May 1 partial solar eclipse that was visible in parts of the southern hemisphere.
  • During this, the first Blood Moon of 2022 will also become more clearly visible.


What is the Total lunar eclipse?

During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon usually turns a deep, dark red because it is illuminated by light that has passed through the Earth’s atmosphere and has been bent back towards the Moon by refraction.

  • A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon and the Sun are on exact opposite sides of Earth.


Why is it red (Blood Moon)?

  • The red colour is because of the way light travels through the Earth’s atmosphere. Sunlight is made of several colours and they all have different wavelengths.
  • Depending on the way they travel through our atmosphere, we see different colours. That’s why the sun and sky have different colours during sunrise and sunset.
  • Blues and purples have shorter wavelengths and scatter in our atmosphere, giving the sky its inky colour, but reds and oranges have the highest wavelengths and pass through our atmosphere before it is bent or refracted around Earth, hitting the surface of the Moon and making it red.


Current Affairs


What is a supermoon?

A supermoon occurs when the Moon’s orbit is closest to the Earth at the same time that the Moon is full. In a typical year, there may be two to four full supermoons and two to four new supermoons in a row.


Insta Curious:

Do you know about Perigee and Apogee?

  • As the Moon orbits the Earth, there is a point of time when the distance between the two is the least (called the perigee when the average distance is about 360,000 km from the Earth) and a point of time when the distance is the most (called the apogee when the distance is about 405,000 km from the Earth).


Now you know Supermoon & Bloodmoon – But have you ever heard about ‘Harvest Moon’ & ‘Blue Moon’? Read NASA article Here.



Prelims Link:

  1. What is a Supermoon?
  2. Differences between supermoon and blood moon?
  3. What is a lunar eclipse?
  4. What is a Solar eclipse?
  5. Differences between Solar and lunar eclipses?
  6. Sun and moon’s perigees and apogees.
  7. Why does the moon appear to be red during some celestial events?

Mains Link:

How can a Supermoon impact tides around the world and India?


[Try this Question:

Consider the following statements

  1. A supermoon is a full moon closely coinciding with the perigee.
  2. While passing through the atmosphere of the Earth, the blue light is filtered while the red part passes through it.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None

Sources: Times of India.