May is a month known for beautiful flowers blooming as mother nature shows her vibrant, beautiful colors. You can look further up than just the ground to see those colors because on Tuesday night, May 25th into Wednesday morning, May 26th we will see colors in the sky with the passing of a lunar eclipse.
The timing of this eclipse earns it the title of Super Flower Blood Moon because not only is it named after the beautiful flowers that bloom this time of year, but it also comes just several hours after the Moon reaches perigee, the closest point to Earth on its orbit.
What exactly is a lunar eclipse? Well, it starts with the positioning of the Earth, Sun, and Moon. During a lunar eclipse, the Earth is positioned between the Sun and the Moon, blocking sunlight from falling on the moon. There are two types of lunar eclipses, a total lunar eclipse (occurring when the Moon and Sun are on opposite sides of Earth), and a partial lunar eclipse (occurring when only a part of the Earth’s shadow covers the Moon).
If you are in Australia, parts of the western US, western South America, or in South-East Asia, you will see the Super Flower Full Moon totally eclipsed and turn a shade of red for about 14 minutes during this total lunar eclipse, weather permitting. Regions seeing at least some parts of the eclipse are South/East Asia, Australia, Much of North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Antarctica. Here in Central NY, we will experience a Penumbral Eclipse at around 4:47 am on May 26th. This type of eclipse is named after a part of the Earth’s Shadow known as the Penumbra.
Unfortunately, Central NY will not be able to see the full eclipse with the vibrant red color that comes from the Earth’s thicker shadow known as the umbra, but there’s good news! A solar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse is in the near future for us on June 10th, starting at around 4:12 am. It will reach its maximum at around 5:36 am and we will see over ¾ of the sun covered by the moon!