If you enjoy seeing each month’s full moon, May’s lunar moment is going to have you extra excited. Not only is it the summer’s Flower Moon, but there’s also a full lunar eclipse.
May 16, the Super Flower Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse is happening. To get more specific, it’s a Super Flower Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse, and it’ll reach its peak at 12:11 a.m. ET on May 16. However, you’ll be able to view a partial eclipse beginning at 10:32 p.m. ET on May 15.
During the course of the eclipse, the moon will likely look more orange and brown as it builds to a full blood-red shade during its peak, and most of the eastern United States will be able to see it.
Those who live in the Mid- or Southwest, or on the West Coast will be able to view most or part of the event. You can check NASA’s viewing map for more details.
But how did this event get such a mouthful of a name, and why is it special?
Well, first and foremost, there’s that lunar eclipse. During this time, the sun, Earth, and moon line up perfectly, and the moon passes through Earth’s shadow. The moon will have a reddish glow during the eclipse’s peak making it a blood moon lunar eclipse.
As for the “flower” bit, every full moon has a traditional name that’s typically derived from Native American tradition (like the Wolf and Worm Moons).
May’s is the Flower Moon, as it’s when blooms finally start appearing. A “super” moon is just a bit brighter and larger in the sky because it’s at its closest point to the Earth.
So, gather the kids, grab a blanket, choose a good viewing spot, and get ready to gaze.