Get Ready for Wednesday’s ‘Super Flower Blood Moon Eclipse’

Phases of a total lunar eclipse during a blue moon and a supermoon as seen from Vladivostok, Russia, on January 31, 2018. Photo: Yuri Smityuk/TASS

Early Wednesday morning, the moon will put on a cosmic display with a mouthful of a name: the Super Flower Blood Moon Eclipse.

At that time, the moon will move into the Earth’s shadow, the first total lunar eclipse since January 2019. Taken from the Farmers’ Almanac, it gets the name “flower” from this being the full moon in May, when flowers are blooming. The moon is in perigee, or the closest point to Earth in its orbit, and looks slightly larger in the sky than usual, hence the “super” part. Adding to the drama is “blood,” from the rusty-red tinge because of the way sunlight filters through Earth’s atmosphere during the eclipse.
Unfortunately, the event is not at a great time for U.S. viewers unless you’re a very early riser. Stargazers will be able to see the total lunar eclipse starting around 4:11 a.m. Pacific in the West. The totality, when the moon is fully submerged in Earth’s shadow, will last a little over 14 minutes. During totality, with the light of the full moon dimmed, more stars and constellations may spring into view. Be sure to take a few minutes to study the night sky with this vantage point.

Those on the East Coast will miss the full blood moon but may still be able to catch a partial lunar eclipse starting around 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time. The next total lunar eclipse won’t happen until May 2022.

Get Ready for Wednesday’s ‘Super Flower Blood Moon Eclipse’