With three “supermoons,” a blue moon and two lunar eclipses during the new school year, observers in the sky have a lot to look forward to in 2021.
Astronomers say all three supermoons – full moons that appear slightly larger and brighter than a typical full moon due to close orbits around Earth – will continue to rise in the sky in April, May and June.
The last time we saw a Supermoon trifle was during the first three months of 2019. Then, in 2020, two supermoons appeared, one in March and one in April.
While 2020 featured a rare Halloween “Blue Moon” – the second of two full moons in the same calendar month – the blue moon that will appear in 2021 is a different kind of blue moon.
The full moon of 22 Aug Gust will be considered the seasonal blue moon, the third of the full moon appearing in the same season. In this case, it will be the third full moon of the summer. (Others are June 24, July 23 and Sept. 20.)
Total lunar eclipse in the month of May
Some astronomers, including Brian Lada at Aqueduar, have called the May lunar eclipse “the best astronomical event of 2021.”
The total eclipse will occur during the morning of May 26, when Earth’s shadow will prevent sunlight from shining on the moon’s surface, as all three celestial bodies line up in a straight line. During an eclipse, the moon will darken and appear rusty red, which is why some sky observers will call it the “Blood Moon.”
The full moon in May is commonly nicknamed the “Flower Moon” because it is the time of year when many plants bloom. But this year it will get many nicknames including Blood Moon, Supermoon or Super Blood Moon.
Note: Due to its morning time, only a fraction of this lunar eclipse will appear in most parts of the eastern United States and North America, according to AquaWeather and other experts.
“The total eclipse will be visible only from the high plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Coast,” said Aquavether in the United States. “The eclipse will also appear for parts of South America, Asia and East Asia.”
Partial lunar eclipse in November
Although the second lunar eclipse in November 2021 will be a partial one instead of a total one, sky watchers in the eastern United States should get a much better view, said Aquiv Ather Thare, assuming the sky is clear at the time.
You will also need to get up early to see it.
A partial lunar eclipse will occur during the early eastern hours on November 19, when the moon will officially be in its full phase – as early as 4 a.m. Eastern time.
“The lunar eclipse of November will be very close to the lunar eclipse, with only one sliver of the moon missing the Earth’s dark inner shadow.” “Because of this, the moon may appear briefly rusty orange or red, similar to what happens during the height of a total eclipse.”
Date, time, surnames of this year’s full moon
If you want to mark your calendar for some of the best lunar observation days in 2021, here is a list of the dates and times of each full moon, along with their common nicknames. (Special thanks to Farmers Almanac, Old Farmer Almanac and TimeEndDate.com for details.)
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