Wolves, get your super howl ready. Next week’s blood moon total lunar eclipse will be the ‘best-timed blood moon of the century,’ according to Forbes.
A blood moon refers to the reddish color the moon can turn when fully eclipsed. Another meaning of the term is used to describe four total lunar eclipses that take place in a row; next week’s moon is the third in this series.
Just so you don’t have to google it: a lunar eclipse happens when the sun, moon and Earth are aligned such that the moon goes into the Earth’s shadow. Upping the cosmic ante, a total lunar eclipse is when the entire moon goes into the darkest part of the Earth’s shadow. And a supermoon is when the moon, which travels in an elliptical fashion, is closest to the Earth at the same time that it’s full.
But wait, there’s more; Next week’s moon is also a Flower Moon (a name for the full moon in May), also called the Planting Moon, the Milk Moon (because at this time of year cows can be milked three times a day) or the Hare Moon. Some Native American communities also call it the Budding Moon or the Egg Laying Moon.
So why is 2022’s blood moon the best? It’s the longest prime-time total lunar eclipse on the West Coast of the US in our century. This lunar eclipse will last for 84 minutes, plenty of time to contemplate in awe and lift a glass to our reddened moon and toast her.
It will look larger than usual and will start on the evening of May 15 and go into the morning of May 16. On the eastern half of North America, it will be completely visible. But in the western half, the eclipse is very nicely going to show up for prime time (8:29pm to 9:53pm PST), an easy time to step outside and still get to bed at a decent hour for work the next day. It will also be visible from South America and parts of Africa and Europe.
East Coasters, head outside from 11:29pm to 12:53am EST with peak visibility at 12:11am.
In central time, check outside from 10:29-11:53pm CST on Sunday; peak time 11:11pm.
Those on mountain time, should head out from 9:29-10:53pm MT and pay attention at 10:11pm.
West Coasters, look alive from 8:29-9:53pm and especially at 9:11pm.