A “super flower blood moon”, or as astronomers call it, a “total lunar eclipse” will be visible in some parts of the world on Wednesday.
According to NASA, the best places to experience the celestial event are Hawaii and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, with California and the Pacific Northwest as the next best spots. If you’re in Mexico, you’ll have a good chance of witnessing the super flower blood moon. The event can also be seen across most of Central America and Ecuador, western Peru and southern Chile and Argentina, as well as parts of western South America, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. But Europe, the rest of Asia and Africa are pretty much out of luck, though scientists say they’ll enjoy a brighter moon anyway, provided the skies are clear.
The super flower blood moon will be visible for much of the western coast of North America ©Kerry Marshall/Getty Images
What is a super flower blood moon?
When a full moon reaches the point closest to Earth on its elliptical orbit it becomes a “supermoon” because when it gets closer to us it looks larger and brighter than usual. A full moon in May is usually called a flower moon because May is a spring month when flowers are in bloom. This year’s full moon coincides with a total lunar eclipse which means the moon will be fully obscured by the earth’s shadow, giving it a reddish hue that comes from the light refracted through the earth’s atmosphere, hence the “blood” part of the name.
When is the best time to see it?
North American skygazers on the west coast will have to wake up early on Wednesday, May 26 to see it. According to NASA, the super flower blood moon begins at 1:47 am PST (4:47 EDT), with peak totality occurring at 4:16am PST (7:16 EDT). The eclipse will end at 6:50 PST (9:50am EDT). Viewers in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Southeast Asia will see it in the evening sky. The lunar eclipse will be totally safe to look at, you don’t need special glasses.
If it’s daytime where you are you can still experience the super flower blood moon through live webcasts online. But no matter where in the world you are, you’ll get to see the supermoon if the skies are clear, you’ll just miss out on the blood/total eclipse part of the event.
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