It’s time to watch the moon make a passage through Earth’s shadow.
WHEN WILL IT BE VISIBLE FROM SOUTH AFRICA:
The event, known as a lunar eclipse, will see the full Flower Moon temporarily turn red overnight on Sunday (15 May) and Monday (16 May), depending on where you are standing. You can watch the Flower Blood Moon eclipse in webcasts, starting at 9:30 p.m. EDT (0130 GMT).
According to report by Space.com, the Eclipse scientist Fred Espenak has listed 15 May’s full moon as a so-called supermoon, making this event extra special.
“The full moon is at its perigee (the closest approach to Earth of the month, in its orbit). So we’ll be seeing a slightly larger moon experience the Super Flower Blood Moon eclipse.”
Lunar eclipses are safe to view with the naked eye. Binoculars and telescopes will enhance the experience but aren’t required.
LUNAR ECLIPSES ARE SAFE TO VIEW WITH THE NAKED EYE
Early morning viewers will have approximately 90 minutes to gaze at the penumbral eclipse as it enters the first phase at 3:32am South African Standard Time (SAST).
Penumbral refers to the Sun, Earth, and Moon’s alignment, which results in the Earth blocking some of the Sun’s light from directly reaching the Moon’s surface.
You’ve come to the right place if you’re not an early bird. NASA will be live-streaming the event so we can watch it at our leisure.
WATCH THE LIVE STREAMING HERE:
What You Need to Know about the Lunar Eclipse
WHY DOES THE MOON TURN RED DURING A LUNAR ECLIPSE?
According to NASA, the same phenomenon that makes our sky blue and our sunsets red causes the Moon to turn red during a lunar eclipse. It’s called Rayleigh scattering. Light travels in waves, and different colors of light have different physical properties. Blue light has a shorter wavelength and is scattered more easily by particles in Earth’s atmosphere than red light, which has a longer wavelength.
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“Red light, on the other hand, travels more directly through the atmosphere. When the Sun is overhead, we see blue light throughout the sky. But when the Sun is setting, sunlight must pass through more atmosphere and travel farther before reaching our eyes. The blue light from the Sun scatters away, and longer-wavelength red, orange, and yellow light pass through.
“During a lunar eclipse, the Moon turns red because the only sunlight reaching the Moon passes through Earth’s atmosphere. The more dust or clouds in Earth’s atmosphere during the eclipse, the redder the Moon will appear. It’s as if all the world’s sunrises and sunsets are projected onto the Moon,” NASA said.
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