Save the date, stargazers, for May 26.
For the first time in over two years, a total lunar eclipse is set to light up skies this May with the coming of the Super Flower Blood Moon 2021. [Featured image from Unsplash / @tytoalbatraoz]
A total lunar eclipse can only occur during a full moon. On May 26, not only will there be a full moon, but a supermoon – a phenomenon that arises when the moon is 7% bigger than normal, and is entirely illuminated when it reaches the point in its orbit closest to Earth. On the night of the eclipse, the moon will also be 15% brighter than usual, and brighter than it will be for the whole year.
The complete eclipse, which only occurs when the Earth’s shadow completely covers that the moon, will cause the moon to take on a deep reddish hue.
Visible from most of the Northern Hemisphere, the Super Flower Blood Moon 2021 is so-called due to its springtime occurrence, when flowers are blooming in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Super Flower Blood Moon 2021 eclipse is set to occur in the early hours of Wednesday, May 26, peaking around 6:19 am CDT for about 15 minutes. It will be visible from most of North America, with the best view from the Pacific Rim.
The last lunar eclipse occurred between November 29 and 30 in a penumbral eclipse visible from North and South America. Later this year, on November 19, another lunar eclipse is set to occur, but will only be a partial eclipse at 97% of the moon in Earth’s shadow.