Total Moon Eclipse: How to watch Sunday’s rare “super flowery moon”

Total Moon Eclipse: How to watch Sunday’s rare “super flowery moon”

An impressive full moon will adorn the night sky on Sunday night. It marks not only a super moonbut also a bloody moon – thanks to a lunar eclipse.

The last total lunar eclipse occurred a year ago, on May 26, 2021. If the weather is clear, millions of sky observers in America, Europe and Africa will be able to see the total lunar eclipse on the night of May 15-16.

What is the bloody moon?

According to NASA, a bloody moon occurs during a total lunar eclipse, when the Earth is directly between the moon and the sun, hiding the moon from sunlight.

During the whole, the moon will be a faint, reddish glow, as the red wavelengths of sunlight pass through our planet’s atmosphere to the moon’s surface. At different times during the eclipse, it could also appear to take on shades of orange, yellow or brown.

“When this happens, the only light that reaches the surface of the Moon is from the ends of the Earth’s atmosphere,” the space agency explained. “Air molecules from the Earth’s atmosphere scatter most of the blue light. The rest of the light is reflected on the surface of the moon with a red glow, making the moon appear red in the night sky.”

Super Blood Moon and total lunar eclipse in Auckland
The total lunar eclipse occurs on May 26, 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Phil Walter / Getty Images

This month’s full moon is also a supermoon, which means it looks slightly larger and brighter than usual because it is at the closest point to Earth in its orbit, known as the orbit.

It is also the moon of flowers, one of the names given to the full moon of May because of the abundance of flowers associated with spring in the northern hemisphere. It is also called the corn planting moon and the milk moon.

How to watch

Unlike a solar eclipse, which requires special glasses to prevent eye damage, a lunar eclipse is safe to see with the naked eye – but binoculars or a telescope will also enhance the viewing experience.

The visible part of the eclipse will start around 22:30 ET on May 15, says NASA, when the moon enters the Earth’s shadow. The whole, when the moon is completely covered by the shadow of our planet, follows around midnight, which lasts about an hour and a half.

It will end around 2 p.m. ET.

Eclipse visibility map for the total lunar eclipse 15-16 May 2022.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

According to NASA, viewers in the eastern United States will see the eclipse begin with the moon well above the horizon, while those in the central part of the country will see it begin about an hour and a half after dark. On the west coast, the moon will rise when the whole is already in progress, so the best view will be to the southeast.

Thus, East Coast spectators will be able to see the event high in the sky, but those on the West Coast will have to look for an unobstructed spot to watch it. According to timeanddate, this will be the largest total lunar eclipse on the west coast this century.

But do not worry if you do not have the best visibility: NASA will broadcast the event live, showcase views from around the world and answer viewers’ questions about the phenomenon.

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