Asia and America look to the skies for ‘Super Flower Blood Moon’
Asia and America look to the skies. The phenomenon occurs when a total lunar eclipse coincides with the moon at its closest point to Earth.
Stargazers from Asia Pacific and the Americas will have a rare opportunity Wednesday to spot a “Super Bloody Moon Flower,” a huge orange-red moon, which astronomers say will be a once-in-a-lifetime sight in a decade.
The supermoon is the result of the first total lunar eclipse in more than two years that occurs at the same time that the moon is closest to Earth.
This month’s full moon — known as the Flower Moon — will undergo a total eclipse early on Wednesday morning (May 26), when it becomes completely immersed for a short while in Earth’s shadow. But it also so happens that at that same time our natural satellite will be near that point in its orbit closest to Earth, which means we’ll see a “supermoon” as well.
Unlike a solar eclipse, the phenomenon will be safely visible to the naked eye.
During a supermoon, the moon is closest to Earth, at a distance of only 360,000 kilometers (225,000 miles).
At that point, it may appear 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than at its furthest point, a difference of about 50,000 km (30,000 miles).
“Hawaii has the best seat in the house and then short of that will be California and the Pacific Northwest,” said NASA’s Noah Petro, project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Experts say that it will all begin at around 1.47am PST on 26 May, when onlookers from Southern California to Washington state will start to see subtle changes to the color of the moon.
After several hours of traveling into the earth’s shadow the moon will begin to turn red at around 2.45am PST.
As it continues to travel into the Earth’s inner shadow the full face of the moon will become a deep red, starting in the Los Angeles area at around 4.11am PST.
Because of the way the moon orbits the total eclipse will only last for an estimated 11 minutes and be complete by 4.25am PST.