May 15 and 16: Flower Moon total lunar eclipse
The first of two total lunar eclipses of 2022 will occur on May 15 or 16, depending on where you are. Lunar eclipses occur when the sun, Earth, and moon align such that the moon crosses through Earth’s shadow, darkening and reddening its silvery disc in our skies. This particular lunar eclipse will be visible from North and South America, Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia.
While parts of the lunar eclipse will occur after the moon has set for viewers in Africa and Europe, sky-watchers across the eastern half of North America and all of Central and South America will get to see the entire eclipse from beginning to end. Starting at 9:32 p.m. ET on May 15, the eclipse will reach its maximum phase—when the moon turns its deepest and most dramatic red—at 12:11 a.m. ET on May 16.
Since the full moon of May is known as the Flower Moon, named for the blooming flowers this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, this celestial event has been dubbed the Flower Moon Eclipse.
June 18 to 27: Five (possibly six) planets align
Sky-watchers who set their alarm clocks early in June will be able to catch a rare lineup of all the major planets visible to the naked eye: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and possibly Uranus—though seeing the final planet requires pristine sky conditions. To cap it off, the moon will pass near each of these worlds between June 18 and June 27.
On June 24 and 25 the crescent moon will glide past the ice giant Uranus and make it easier to hunt down, especially using binoculars. Look for a distinctly green-colored dot. And eager stargazers won’t want to miss the moon’s close encounter with super-bright Venus on June 26. Then on June 27 the elusively faint Mercury gets its turn with the moon when both will appear embedded in the morning twilight.
October 25: Partial solar eclipse
On October 25 the moon will take a bite out of the sun when a partial solar eclipse graces the skies over most of Europe and the Middle East, as well as parts of western Asia, northern Africa, and Greenland. Similar to the partial eclipse on April 30, this October event will occur when the moon partially blocks the solar disc as seen from Earth. As much as 86 percent of the sun will be covered for viewers in parts of Eurasia.
The moon’s silhouette will begin to block part of the sun at 8:58 UTC, and the maximum eclipse will occur at 11:00 UTC. The partial solar eclipse will occur during nighttime in the Americas. The next solar eclipse for sky-watchers west of the Atlantic won’t happen until October 14, 2023, when an annular eclipse, or “ring of fire,” will be visible.
November 7 and 8: Total lunar eclipse
People across North and South America, Australia, Asia, and parts of Europe will have the opportunity to watch the moon blush red for the second time in 2022 when a total lunar eclipse occurs during the overnight hours of November 7 and 8. In the western United States and Canada, eastern Russia, New Zealand, and parts of eastern Australia, sky-watchers will get to see the entire eclipse unfold. Meanwhile, eastern North America and most of South America will be able to view partial phases of the eclipse as the moon sets in the west.
The moon will begin to darken along its edge on November 8 at 3:03 a.m. PT, and then its entire disc will plunge into the deepest central portion of Earth’s shadow at 2:59 a.m. PT. The eclipse will end at 3:41 am PT, rounding out another wonderful year of stargazing.