BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — For about 14 minutes, the moon will turn blood red at the peak of the Lunar Eclipse beginning around 6:11 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Unfortunately, the sun will be rising as the moon will be setting. Therefore, we won’t be able to see much across Alabama, or the eastern half the U.S. for that matter. The eclipse will begin at approximately 4:44 a.m., meaning the earth begins to move between the sun and moon at that moment. The moon will gradually fade from a bright white to a dull red as the Earth moves between the moon and the sun, casting a shadow on the moon.
Eventually, the earth will fully block the sun’s light from reaching our celestial satellite and it will glow a deep red color, hence the name “blood red”. Because it will already be daylight for us in Alabama when the Earth is fully in between the moon and sun, we will not be able to see the peak.
Lunar eclipse viewing is not dangerous to the naked eye. You do not need any fancy equipment to see this, simply look up to the southwestern horizon to watch.
If 4:44 a.m. is too early for you, then set your alarm for November 18-19, 2021 for the next lunar eclipse. If you miss that one, then it will be May 15-16, 2022 when it happens again.
If you are curious how the Super Flower Blood moon got its name, let me explain.
1. Super Moon: Tonight the moon will appear 14% bigger and 30% Brighter than normal, giving the appearance of a “super” moon.
2. Flower Moon: Each month a full moon occurs, and each moon is named based on a seasonal event happening that coincides with that month. For May full moons, they receive the name, “Flower” because this is the month that blooms begin to flower or flowers begin to bloom. Either way, you’re tracking.
3. Blood Moon: The moon is called a blood moon during a total lunar eclipse because of the deep red or brownish color it appears. How does that happen you wonder? Well, when the earth casts a shadow over the moon it blocks out the sun’s direct light. There is still a small amount of light that reaches the moon indirectly through the Earth’s atmosphere. Because the sun’s light is made up of all the colors of the light spectrum, certain wavelengths, like blues, indigos and violets are filtered out leaving only the reddish and orange wavelengths to reach the moon’s surface. The moon then reflects those colors back to our eyes, giving us the blood moon.
If you are curios about other full moons and their names. Here is a complete list.