What Could May 26th’s Rare Red Blood Supermoon AND Lunar Eclipse Mean?
So, it's rare and stunning enough to see a Blood Moon. Supermoons are also thrilling to behold. And a lunar eclipse is always a catalyst for the curious to stay up later to watch the dramatic, awe-inspiring events in the night sky.
In the wee hours of May 26, you may want to make plans to stay up later (or get up earlier) to see this first lunar eclipse of 2021.
But what about when it's all three at once? This rare skyward phenomenon has many people wondering what it could mean.
While we can't know what it means, or if it has any meaning at all, it is still remarkable and worth seeing.
So what makes it a Supermoon?
Short answer: A Supermoon "happens" whenever either a new or full moon "coincides with the Moon’s closest approach to the Earth," reports CBSAustin. It's a good reminder that the moon's orbit around the earth is not perfectly circular--that means it's not always equidistant from Earth. Thus, it can appear larger.
And, just to review exactly what a lunar eclipse is...
It's simply when a full moon is darkened by the Earth's shadow. Isn't that amazing? Even though we understand what's happening it doesn't take away from the mysterious wonder of it all. And this can only happen when the moon is full.
OK, cool. But why does the moon appear to be blood red some times?
Because of malevolent spirits in the sky, of course. ;) Kidding, kidding.
Actually, it appears red because whenever the Earth casts a shadow on the moon, it does darken--however, it doesn't fade to black. Instead, it takes on that signature Blood Moon hue that captivates us so much. Why red? Well, that takes a bit more scientific explanation. More fascinating info available on that for you here.
Ready to find out the best times to watch? Online, too? Space.com offers detailed info here.
The eclipse will begin Wednesday at 3:46 a.m. CT. The best time to view it will be when the moon slips completely into Earth's shadow and appear red from 6:11 to 6:26 a.m. CT.
As far as what it all may mean? Well, I suppose we all have our own ideas about that. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Let us know in the comments.