Lunar Eclipse Pictures: Super Blood Moon 2022 in Photos Around the World

A total lunar eclipse appeared in the night sky, with people across the globe enjoying a spectacular phenomenon—and photographers took the opportunity to capture the dazzling celestial event.

A total lunar eclipse happens when the sun, Earth and moon form a near-perfect line-up in space. During these moments, which only occur during a full moon, the Earth casts a shadow on our natural satellite, changing its color and brightness.

Blood Moon above Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Blood Moon is seen during the total lunar eclipse above Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 16, 2022. Photo by CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images

Total lunar eclipses progress in three stages. The first stage is a penumbral eclipse during which the moon enters the lighter shadow of the Earth, called the penumbra. At this point, the face of the full moon that we can see dims very slightly.

The full moon rises behind Manhattan
The full moon rises behind the skyline of midtown Manhattan and the Empire State Building in New York City before the start of a lunar eclipse on May 15, 2022, as seen from Weehawken, New Jersey. Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

The next stage is a partial eclipse, which begins when the moon starts to enter the Earth's central, darker shadow, known as the umbra, and it dims noticeably, while some parts are almost obscured entirely as the shadow moves across its face.

Partial lunar eclipse over Coit Tower
The Blood Moon during the partial eclipse stage rising over San Francisco's Coit Tower on May 15, 2022. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The final stage is the total eclipse phase, where the whole of the moon is within the Earth's umbra, causing it to turn a reddish color. This is why the moon at total lunar eclipse is popularly referred to by the name Blood Moon, although this is not a scientific term.

Full moon rising above Athens, Greece
The full moon rising behind the Temple of Poseidon, in Cape Sounion on May 15, 2022 in Athens, Greece. Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

When the moon passes through the Earth's umbra, direct sunlight is blocked from illuminating its surface. But the moon doesn't fully disappear during a total lunar eclipse because the shadow isn't completely dark.

In fact, some light reaches the moon during the total eclipse phase, but this light gets refracted as it passes through the Earth's atmosphere. This is why the moon turns red.

The full moon seen from Jersey City
The full moon rises behind the antenna atop One World Trade Center in New York City before the start of a lunar eclipse on May 15, 2022, as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey. Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

"As light passes through the Earth's atmosphere, the blue wavelengths get more scattered than red wavelengths, so the only light reaching the moon is red light," Tania de Sales Marques, a planetarium astronomer from the U.K.'s Royal Observatory, Greenwich, previously told Newsweek. "We see the same effect occur when the sky reddens at sunrise and sunset."

The full moon above Red Square, Moscow
The full moon is pictured behind the two-headed eagle, the national symbol of Russia, atop a building in Red Square, Moscow, on May 15, 2022. Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images

The total phase of last night's eclipse was visible from most of the Americas—except the northwesternmost part of the continent—as well as western regions of Europe and Africa, depending on the weather in any given location, of course.

A penumbral lunar eclipse
The full moon during the penumbral eclipse phase above Skopje, North Macedonia, on May 16, 2022. ROBERT ATANASOVSKI/AFP via Getty Images

The full moon in May, which is often referred to as the Flower Moon, was also described as a supermoon. This is another non-scientific term with several definitions, although the most common one refers to any full moon that occurs when the moon is at least 90 percent of the way to its perigee, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac.

Perigee is the point in the moon's orbit when it is closest to the Earth. The moon actually has an elliptical orbit around the Earth, meaning the distance between it and our planet varies over time.

Full moon rises above San Salvador
View of the Plaza Salvador del Mundo in San Salvador, El Salvador, as the moon rises during the night of the total lunar eclipse on May 15, 2022. Photo by Kellys Portillo/APHOTOGRAFIA/Getty Images
The full moon above Sydney, Australia
The moon is seen during a lunar eclipse on May 16, 2022, from Sydney, Australia. Saverio Marfia/Getty Image