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The Super Flower Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse, Explained

Say it six times super fast.
IMAGE GANAPATHY KUMAR/UNSPLASH
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Super flower blood moon lunar eclipse. Super flower blood moon lunar eclipse. Say it six times super flower fast.

The latest astronomical event is scheduled to start in just a few minutes and last for over five hours. And for once, it's not going to require you to stay up to the dead of night just to catch this rare event. The supermoon eclipse is scheduled to start at 4:47 p.m. Philippine time and last until 9:49 p.m., but the "greatest eclipse" will happen at 7:18 p.m. This is essentially the peak of the eclipse, so get your cameras ready and your alarms set for this time.

After reading up on everything you need to know about the eclipse, you can just step outside, look up, and bask in this rare starry event. But here's everything you need to know about the super flower blood moon lunar eclipse. 

Let's break down all the names of this rare moon:

1| Supermoon

A supermoon occurs when a full moon or new moon is at its perigree, which is the point the Moon is closest to Earth in its ellyptical orbit. Since it's closer to Earth, it appears larger than usual. Today's supermoon will be a super full moon. Fun fact: there's also a thing called the micromoon, which is the opposite of a supermoon and occurs when the Moon is at its farthest point from Earth in its elliptical orbit.

2| Flower Moon

If you're a stargazer, you've probably heard names like Flower Moon, Wolf Moon, etc. These are actually names that were given to moons by Native Americans, Anglo-Saxons, and the like to track months in the year for agricultural purposes. It holds no scientific importance and isn't used by astronomers outside the West, but there's no denying it's a poetic name to give the Moon in May. It was named the Flower Moon to signify the time wildflowers bloom in the Northern Hemisphere.
Some cultures have also called it the Corn Planting Moon, Mother's Moon, and Milk Moon.

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3| Blood Moon

This name is applied when the Moon is in a total lunar eclipse. By a trick of light, the moon appears red or brown-ish instead of white or gray. This happens when the Sun's rays pass through the Earth's atmosphere and some colors in the light spectrum are filtered out. This is a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering and it causes the light that reaches the Moon's surface to appear blood-red. This is actually the same way sunrises and sunsets appear red, orange, or sometimes pink.

4| Lunar Eclipse

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves directly into the Earth's shadow so that the Earth is aligned between the Sun and the Moon. It only occurs during a full moon, and creates a shadow on the Moon's surface. There are three types of lunar eclipses: total, partial, and penumbral. The former is what we will see tonight.

5| Total Lunar Eclipse

A total lunar eclipse is what causes the Moon to appear blood-red. It is when the Moon is completely in the Earth's shadow so no light from the Sun can directly touch the Moon's surface. Instead, the light will refract from the Earth to make the Moon appear red.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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