The first total lunar eclipse of the year created a lot of buzz on the planet. People in some countries – mostly in South America – were able to take a good look at the Moon during the celestial event, while others were not so lucky.
But thousands of kilometres up in the space, at the International Space Station (ISS), astronauts were able to capture the magnificent phenomenon from zero gravity.
The images of the “Blood Moon” during the eclipse were posted on Twitter by Samantha Cristoforetti, an astronaut with the European Space Agency (ESA) on Monday.
Happy Monday from space! Were you lucky enough to be able to see the lunar eclipse last night? We were! / Buon lunedì dallo spazio! Avete avuto la fortuna di vedere l’eclissi lunare di ieri sera? Noi sì! 🌘#lunareclipse2022#MissionMinerva#LunarEclipsepic.twitter.com/RKJ49L4YAX
— Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) May 16, 2022
“Happy Monday from space! Were you lucky enough to be able to see the lunar eclipse last night? We were!” she said in her tweet, which was retweeted by the ESA.
The image shows a partially visible Moon as the Earth moves between it and the Sun during the total lunar eclipse.
In another photo, the Moon is seen playing “hide-and-seek with our solar panel”, said Ms Cristoforetti.
She docked at the ISS after being sent to space onboard SpaceX’s Dragon capsule on April 27. This was her second flight to the space station.
The 45-year-old the commanding the ISS operations during the team’s six-month stint, becoming Europe’s first woman placed in that role.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon, Earth, and Sun align, with the Moon passing through the shadow cast by the Earth. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the darkest part of the Earth’s shadow, known as the umbra, according to NASA.
The total lunar eclipse on the intervening night of May 15 and 16 was not visible in India. It was seen in various parts of the world including South and North America, Antarctica, Europe, Africa, and the East Pacific.
During the eclipse, the Moon was visible in scarlet colour, in stark contrast to its usual milky white appearance. It emitted a reddish hue just before the totality of the eclipse, which is why it was called the “Blood Moon”.