October: When the night goes dark

Total lunar eclipses are spectacular. Seeing one in its totality, as the Moon's luminosity diminishes, allowing the faintest stars and the Milky Way to be seen, is well worth staying awake all night if necessary. While the full Moon shines brightly in the sky, it is almost impossible to see stars around it, dazzled by its intense light. But, once eclipsed, we receive 100,000 times fewer photons from the Sun reflected from its surface, allowing us to see the spectacular scenery around it. The total lunar eclipse that we had the opportunity to enjoy on 16 May 2022 can be seen summarised in this image in which the frames from the entrance to the exit of the Moon in the cone of shadow produced by our planet have been added together. The Guajara mountain and the Teide (with numerous mountaineers climbing it) also stand out, as well as the Van der Raay pyramid (Teide Observatory) and the ISS (crossing over the Pyramid).

Author: Daniel López / IAC

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Daniel López
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