Illustration for article titled Photo: T. Luangpalud (Shutterstock)

The next celestial event to light up the skies over the northern hemisphere has a name that matches its red-tinted hue: The Super Flower Blood Moon. No, that mouthful of a name isn’t a purely scientific term, but as far as full moons go, this month is definitely worth the place on your calendar. It is the product of a lunar eclipse, as the moon is only inches closer to earth than it is all month, and fragments of sunlight soak the lunar surface with a deep, reddish glow.

Here’s what you need to know about the Super Flower Blood Moon, which is definitely not an omen of the upcoming End of Days, although it sounds like it.

It’s a total lunar eclipse

It’s a solar eclipse to stare at, which is a plus for solar eclipses. A total lunar eclipse occurs on May 26th when the moon moves in the shadow of the earth and the sun, earth and moon are perfectly aligned. This brief moment of symmetry obscures the moon from viewers on the ground, but this particular solar eclipse is different in that it coincides with a super moon – when the moon comes closest to earth during its orbit. That particular moon after which Peasant almanac, will be the largest moon of the year for anyone who looks up without the aid of binoculars or telescopes.

Given all the factors, the Super Flower Blood Moon is a perfect sky storm. NASA explains how the moon is shrouded in a shade of red during the process:

The red color comes from sunlight filtered through the earth’s atmosphere – a ring of light created by all sunrises and sunsets on our planet at this time. Because of its reddish color, a lunar eclipse is often referred to as a “blood moon”.

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The term “flower” does not come out of nowhere either: the full moon in May is traditionally referred to as the flower moon and results from its association with the flowering of spring. Either way, this moon will be big – over seven percent bigger and 15 percent brighter than usual, which means it looks something like this April’s pink super moon.

How to see the Super Flower Blood Moon

Fortunately, a total lunar eclipse cannot be missed, and while certain areas have a better angle of view, this phenomenon is visible almost everywhere at night, albeit to varying degrees. NASA explains where the solar eclipse will have the greatest impact:

The best observation for this solar eclipse is in the Pacific region – these are the western parts of America, Australia and New Zealand as well as East Asia. For the US, the best ad is in Hawaii, Alaska, and the western states.

For the eastern states of the USA, the event begins “at dusk”, according to the space agency. The further west you travel before the moonset, the better the visibility. The solar eclipse doesn’t make any distinction based on where you live as it occurs instantly and then disappears. Of course, you can streamline the process by checking out TimeandDate’s Resources to help you input your exact coordinates to help plan the arrival of the solar eclipse. This really is the best way to choose a time to gaze at the sky. There are plenty of options too Live streaming is concerned if you want to witness the wonder of the giant red moon from the soft glow of an LCD screen.

As always, check the weather forecast and prepare accordingly before venturing into the elements, or just look out the window.