The Full Moon in May is traditionally known as the Full Flower Moon. But 2021 will be an exception; this year, a Super Blood Moon takes place — a culmination in a series of supermoons! Where does this name come from? When and where to observe the Blood Moon? Let’s get to the details of this spectacular event!
You can also watch our video about lunar eclipses.
What is a Blood Moon?
You may wonder: “Why is the Moon red tonight?” The Blood (Red) Moon is caused by a total lunar eclipse. During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth comes between the Moon and the Sun, covering our natural satellite with its shadow. Despite this, indirect sunlight still manages to reach the Moon and illuminate it through our planet’s atmosphere. The atmosphere blocks most of the blue color and lets through only the red or orange light. As a result, the Moon appears blood-red to observers from the Earth.
The exact color of the Moon depends on the amount of dust and clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere on the day of the total lunar eclipse. It can vary from dark brown or red to bright orange and yellow. Learn more about the Moon’s colors by taking our quiz.
The Blood Moon of 2021 gets the prefix “super” for being a Supermoon. Moreover, it will be the closest supermoon of the year, which technically means the biggest and brightest one!
Where will the Super Blood Moon be visible?
The Moon appears red only from the sites where the total lunar eclipse is visible. In 2021, these will be North America (including Alaska and Hawaii), some parts of Asia, New Zealand, and partially Australia. To check if the eclipse is visible from your exact location, use the Eclipse Guide app. The app will show you our natural satellite’s path during the eclipse, the precise time of each eclipse phase, and other handy information.
When is the Super Blood Moon 2021?
Get ready on May 26. The Moon will cycle through all phases of the eclipse from 5:45 a.m. EDT to 8:52 a.m. EDT (9:45 GMT to 12:52 GMT). The total lunar eclipse phase will be pretty short — it will begin at 7:11 a.m. EDT and end in 15 minutes, at 7:26 GMT (11:11 GMT to 11:26 GMT). Remember that all total eclipses follow “penumbral > partial > total > partial > penumbral phase” scheme. While penumbral phases are quite difficult to see, the partial and total eclipses are visible even with a naked eye. View the time-lapse of each phase using the Eclipse Guide app.
If you’re not located in places where the total eclipse is visible, most likely, you won’t notice the red color of our natural satellite. But don’t worry — you can still observe the biggest and brightest Full Moon of the year.
The Full Flower Moon
Usually, the May Full Moon is called the Full Flower Moon. As the Full Moon’s names come from Native American, Colonial American, and other North American traditions, the Flower Moon is no surprise — it occurs during flower blooming season in Northern America. In 2021, the Full Flower Moon will occur on May 26, at 7:14 a.m. EDT (11:14 GMT). Although we provide the exact time when the Moon reaches its full phase, our natural satellite will appear “full” several days in a row for observers from the Earth. Learn the exact rise and set times with Star Walk 2 to find the best day for observations.
- When is the next Full Moon? Known as the Strawberry Full Moon it will occur on June 24.
- When is the next Blood Moon? It will take place almost a year later, on May 16, 2022.
- When was the last Blood Moon? The last Blood Moon was on January 21, 2019, and was known as the “Super Blood Wolf Moon”.
- How often does a total lunar eclipse happen? The number of total lunar eclipses per year varies from 0 to 3. The last time when 3 total lunar eclipses occurred in one calendar year was in 1982.
This was all you need to know about the Super Blood Moon of 2021. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and on social media.
Wishing you clear skies and happy stargazing!