Lunar Eclipse Photos: See the Super Flower Blood Moon Up Close – The Wall Street Journal
Updated May 26, 2021 8:44 am ET
Photos of the total lunar eclipse that took place overnight show the moon bathed in an eerie reddish glow, as it passed through Earth’s shadow.
Enthusiastic skywatchers had dubbed the eclipse the super flower blood moon because it simultaneously combined three lunar phenomena: a supermoon, a total lunar eclipse and a blood moon. As a supermoon, the moon appears up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter in the sky, as the natural satellite’s orbit brings it closest to Earth, compared with when the moon is most distant from Earth. The moon will also pass entirely within Earth’s shadow—an eclipse—and because of the light filtered through Earth’s atmosphere during this event will turn a reddish hue—a blood moon.
In areas with clear weather, the eclipse was visible across western North and South America, as the moon was setting in the early morning hours; and across Oceania, Australia and eastern Asia during moonrise in the evening. It was the first total lunar eclipse since 2019.
The moon was completely shadowed by Earth for almost 15 minutes.
In folklore, the full moon in May is known as the flower moon because it occurs as spring blossoms in the Northern Hemisphere. The Farmer’s Almanac popularized the term, attributing it to the Algonquin people of North America. The almanac notes that other Native American cultures have traditional names for May’s full moon, including the leaf-budding moon, egg-laying moon and frog moon.
Lunar eclipses naturally occur when Earth passes between the sun and the moon, blocking the sunlight that normally illuminates the moon’s grayish-white cratered surface.