Skygazers are in for a treat with the arrival of a ‘Super Flower Blood’ Moon this Wednesday, featuring the first total lunar eclipse in more than two years.
During the eclipse, the full moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow. It appears red, known as a “blood moon”, as light is scattered through the Earth’s atmosphere, much like during a sunset.
In addition, the moon will be at perigee, or the closest point to Earth in its orbit, making it appear about 7% larger than normal and 15% brighter or a “super moon,” according to astronomers.
May’s full moon is known as the “Flower Moon” since it occurs when spring flowers are in bloom.
“Hawaii has the best seat in the house and then short of that will be California and the Pacific north-west,” said NASA’s Noah Petro, the project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, The Guardian reported.
The eclipse will happen in the early morning hours on Wednesday in western North America, with people in Alaska and Hawaii getting the best views.
It can also be seen in southern Chile and Argentina. Skygazers in all of Australia and New Zealand and parts of Southeast Asia can see the eclipse on Wednesday evening.
“For people who might feel like we’re missing out, set your calendars for 19 November of this year,” Petro said. This will be a nearly total eclipse where the moon dims but doesn’t turn red.
The next total lunar eclipse will be May 2022. The last one was January 2019.
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Why and How?
Islam is a faith of knowledge that counters superstitions. Abu Mas’ud (A.S.) narrated that Prophet Muhammad said: “The sun and the moon don’t eclipse because of someone’s death but they are two signs amongst the signs of Allah. Whenever you see these eclipses invoke Allah, pray, exclaim, (Allah is Most Great) and give charity.”
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes within Earth’s umbra (shadow). The shadow turns the moon’s color to dark red-brown (typically – the color can vary based on atmospheric conditions).
The moon appears to be reddish because of Rayleigh scattering (the same effect that causes sunsets to appear reddish) and the refraction of that light by Earth’s atmosphere into its umbra.