How to see the 'flower' supermoon in Northern California

  • How to see the 'flower' supermoon in Northern California

How to see the 'flower' supermoon in Northern California

This map shows the visibility of the total lunar eclipse in the contiguous U.S.at 7:11 a.m. Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, including Hawaii, will also see the eclipse in its entirety.

Watchers of the night sky are in for a treat this week with the arrival of what has been dubbed a Super Flower Blood Moon.

The lengthy name is the result of a few astronomical phenomena coming together at once. But many may have better luck next year on May 16 2022, when there will be a total lunar eclipse, visible from the United Kingdom in the small hours.

Early risers in the USA can catch a spectacular view of the moon Wednesday morning before sunrise, but what you'll be able to see will depend largely on where you live. It is big because this is a full moon and the satellite is closest to Earth.

The 'super' part is because the moon will be at the closest point to our planet possible on its orbit and the "flower" part is attributed to the fact that it will be a full moon appearing in May.

Why it's "flower": Full moons that occur in May are sometimes known as flower moons.

And because lunar eclipses are sometimes called "blood moons" as the moon darkens and turns a tiresome red when it passes into Earth's shadow, this week's skywatching event is being called a "super flower blood moon".

According to NASA's page on the Blood Moon of May 26, "sunlight bends and scatters as it passes through Earth's atmosphere", and during a lunar eclipse, this filtered sunlight makes it way to through the Earth's atmosphere, and does reach the lunar surface. The chart above will help, with the row "Total begins" signifying the start time of the lunar eclipse sequence. Along the Asian Pacific Rim, the total eclipse will be visible just after moonrise, states the space agency. This is what is commonly referred to as a supermoon.

'The same effect that gives the sky its orange glow in the morning or afternoon will cause that on the moon - essentially you're seeing sunrise on the moon'. During this type of eclipse, the moon will gradually get darker, taking on a rusty or blood-red color.

A super blood moon is when a total lunar eclipse (or blood moon) happens at the same time as the "super" moon - which appears brighter and bigger. It won't be visible in New England and parts of New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware. For people along the eastern coast of the US and Canada, a partial eclipse will be visible between 4:48 a.m. and 5:16 a.m. EDT (Eastern Daylight Time).

The western portion of Ontario should be able to catch the partial eclipse at 5:44 a.m. EDT, while the rest of the country are unlikely to notice much of a change to the moon before it falls below the horizon.