First lunar eclipse of 2021 will take place on May 26, 2021.
- The moon on its journey around the earth will be passing through the earth’s shadow and will be totally eclipsed
- On May 26 evening, a rare celestial event will unfold its mesmerizing act when a Super Blood Moon will be seen in the eastern sky, just after a total lunar eclipse.
- It will be a superlunar phenomenon because three major events will be taking place all at once, namely ‘Supermoon‘, ‘Red Blood Moon’ and a Lunar Eclipse.
- In India, the eclipse will only be visible partially at a few places in the eastern parts of the country while it will be best seen from Australia, parts of the United States, western South America, the Pacific and South-East Asia.
What’s a super moon?
- A super moon occurs when a full or new moon coincides with the moon’s closest approach to the Earth.
- The Moon’s orbit around Earth is not perfectly circular.
- This means the Moon’s distance from Earth varies as it goes around the planet.
- When full or new moon coincides with perigee of Moon to the Earth, super moon event occurs.
Note: The closest point in the orbit, called the perigee.
- A full moon that happens near the perigee is called a super moon because close proximity of moon makes it bigger and brighter in appearance than usual. Though, difference between super and normal moon is hard to notice.
What is lunar eclipse?
- A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth’s shadow covers all or part of the Moon.
- This event only happens during full moon.
- Lunar eclipse happens twice a year during which, moon comes in same horizontal plane as the Earth and Sun.
What is a full moon?
- When Moon and Sun are on opposite sides of Earth, full moon happens.
- This makes it possible to observe entire lit-up side of the moon.
What is a blood moon?
When moon gets completely covered by Earth’s shadow, it appears dark.
It does not get completely black but appears red. Because of this red colour, total lunar eclipses are called as red or blood moons.
Why does the moon appear red?
- Sunlight contains all colors of visible light.
- The particles of gas that make up Earth’s atmosphere are more likely to scatter blue wavelengths of light while redder wavelengths pass through.
- This is called Rayleigh scattering, and it’s why the sky is blue and sunrises and sunsets are often red.
- In the case of a lunar eclipse, red light can pass through the Earth’s atmosphere and is refracted – or bent – toward the moon, while blue light is filtered out.
- This leaves the moon with a pale reddish hue during an eclipse.