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Breakdown: Why you should look up: Lunar eclipse + supermoon

Updated: May. 22, 2021 at 7:15 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A total lunar eclipse will occur on May 26th and it will coincide with the May supermoon.

While U.S. residents will have to rise early to view the event, it may be worth losing a little sleep, given that this will be 2021′s first and only total lunar eclipse. The cosmic phenomenon won’t occur again until May 15, 2022!

A lunar eclipse occurs when Earth stands directly between the Moon and the Sun, which results in Earth casting its shadow on the Moon. During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon is fully obscured by Earth’s shadow, giving the Moon a reddish hue. This phenomenon is where the term “blood moon” comes from.

This is event also coincides with a supermoon. This means the moon will look slightly bigger and brighter. While you may not notice, the moon will actually be about 7% bigger than normal. What you may notice is probably notice, however, is that it will be approximately 15% brighter. This supermoon will be the brightest of 2021. The reason being because it’s the closest full Moon to Earth of 2021.

The full Moon in May 2021 is called the “Flower Moon,” because many flowers are in bloom during this time of year.

According to NASA’s Eclipse Page, the farther west you are, the more you’ll see. Meaning, those on the west coast will experience a total lunar eclipse, and those to the east (including the Mid-South), this event will appear as a partial lunar eclipse.

The animation below shows what the eclipse will approximately look like in Memphis:

Here’s when you need to head outside to catch a glimpse of this celestial event on the morning of May 26, 2021

(All times are central time on the morning of May 26.)

All times are local time (CDT) for Memphis....
All times are local time (CDT) for Memphis. https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/memphis?iso=20210526(timeanddate.com)

Locally, this year’s (partial) eclipse in Memphis will begin early in the morning at 4:44 a.m. when the Earth’s shadow begins to cross the front of the Moon.

The maximum (but not total) eclipse for Memphis will be at 5:46 a.m. This is the moment when the eclipse reaches its greatest magnitude while the entire Moon is above the horizon in Memphis (so, get to a high vantage point and look low in the sky).

To view the supermoon look to the east around dusk. We all will be able to see the moon turn a reddish color for about 15 minutes. The “blood moon” will occur from 6:11 a.m. until 6:25 a.m. By 7:52 a.m. the supermoon will be restored to its full glory.

To see specific times for your city or town click here and then enter your location.

If you happen to catch a photo of the eclipse, make sure you send it our way! You may end up seeing your picture on air or on our social media channels!

By the way: An eclipse never comes alone!

A solar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse. A solar eclipse will occur on June 10, 2021 and will be observable (weather permitting) from remote parts of Canada, Greenland, Siberia, and the North Pole. Additionally, much of northeastern North America will be treated to a deep partial solar eclipse at sunrise.

THIS MAP SHOWS SIMULATED VIEWS OF THE PARTIAL ECLIPSE AT SUNRISE. TO GET THIS VIEW, YOU’LL NEED...
THIS MAP SHOWS SIMULATED VIEWS OF THE PARTIAL ECLIPSE AT SUNRISE. TO GET THIS VIEW, YOU’LL NEED APPROVED SOLAR VIEWERS. IN GENERAL, YOU WILL GET THE MOST DRAMATIC VIEWS OF THE RISING ECLIPSE ALONG THE MIDDLE CURVE OF THE THREE CURVES IN THIS MAP.(Great American Eclipse)

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