The blood moon is just a scientific term. There is no connection with blood, murder, vampires, or anyone approaching you to kill you. Jokes apart, the eclipse of the moon is happening in the early hours of the 26th May 2021. During this eclipse, the moon will be totally covered by the dark umbral shadow of the Earth. The duration will be around 14 minutes and 31 seconds. The northern part of the moon which is around 32 kilometers will be immersed into the umbra when the eclipse is at its peak. But what is more exciting is coming together with a series of lunar events that are surely going to give the sky-watchers a gala time. The media knows how to market the occurrence and has termed it Super Flower Blood Moon. What does that stand for? Will you be lucky enough to witness it? Find out.
Where Does the Term Super Flower Moon Come From?
The moon is approaching perigee and it will reach the position by the 25th of May. What is perigee? The point in the moon’s orbit around the earth that brings the moon closest to the earth. The orbit of the moon is oval (elliptical) and not a circle. Every month, the moon comes closest to the Earth and moves away to the farthest point from the earth. While the closest point is known as perigee, the farthest point is known as apogee.
On the 25th night, the moon will be at perigee. The distance between the moon and the earth will be around 357,311 kilometers. Within the next 12 hours, i.e. on the 26th, there will be a full moon. A full moon in the month of May is called a Flower Moon. Now, as per NASA, when there is a Full Moon while it is inside 90 percent of the perigee, the occurrence is termed as Super Moon. At perigee, the full moon looks 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter as compared to a Full Moon at any other time of the year. For instance, when there was a Full Moon last month, the event was also called a Super Moon.
What Actually is a Blood Moon?
Blood Moon is the name given to the moon when it turns from white to deep red at the time of a lunar eclipse. This particular transformation takes place when the earth’s satellite happens to pass through the shadow of the earth. Since the planet has an air blanket surrounding it, the shadow is not jet black. When the rays of the sun penetrate through the atmosphere of the Earth and get reflected on the moon’s surface, red light is gets mixed more into the shadow, while blue light is scattered. Along with this, the shadow of Earth also has a red hint to it. Owing to these reasons, the moon gets a red hue. This is why it looks red while passing through that zone.
The Timing of the Eclipse
People living in the western part of the North and South American continent, eastern Asia, and Australasia will be able to witness the total lunar eclipse. It can be viewed from the Pacific Ocean as well. If you are in the Eastern time zone, you won’t be able to witness the lunar spectacle. The partial eclipse will begin at 2.45 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time. The total eclipse starts at 4.11 A.M. PDT and ends at 4.26 A.M. PDT. The partial eclipse will end at 5.52 A.M. PDT. The moon will step into the farthest part of the shadow at 3.47 A.M. CDT. But the main event will start at 4.44 A.M. CDT.
How to Witness It?
You won’t need any binoculars or telescopes to witness the eclipse. You just have to step out and look at the sky. It’s always better to look at the moon with the naked eye. If you want to click the lunar eclipse, you can use your smartphone. The only issue is waking up so early in the morning. Also, you will require a clear view of the west as well as the southwest horizon. It would be best if you climb up a hill or stand on higher ground to capture the best frame.
People are gearing up to catch this major spectacle. If you are unable to witness the morning event, you can check out the moon on Wednesday evening when it will be almost as illuminated as in the morning.