a bloodmoon seen over top of a light filled city, a bridge is seen in the foreground

Super blood moon and four planets visible in May, here’s how to see it

We’ve got an exciting month ahead for watching the skies. So, let’s see what’s in store for us on the May 2021 Blood Moon calendar. There’s a supermoon coming up, and it will be much easier to make time to experience it, as most of us were in lockdown when it appeared last year. Also, on the 26th of May, 2021, the full moon promises to be spectacular. This is as close and as bright as a supermoon will appear for this entire year. On top of that, it will go through a complete lunar eclipse.

Advertisement
Red Moon During Lunar Eclipse.
During lunar eclipses, sunlight is filtered through Earth’s atmosphere, which gives the moon its red glow. Image: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

What this means for moon gazers is that the Super Blood Moon really will be red in its appearance. This is unlike the Super Pink Moon that does not appear to be pink at all. Together we’ll find out more about this lunar phenomenon, how it occurs, and where the best viewing points are. [1]

Advertisement

What is a Blood Moon?

Sometimes, during a complete lunar eclipse, the Full Moon will appear to have a red glow. Blood Moon is also a term often used to describe the occurrence of four consecutive, complete lunar eclipses. As the moon passes the Earth’s umbra, it falls into shadow, as most of the sunlight is obscured. The light refracted through the Earth’s atmosphere can cause the moon to appear orange, red, or yellow. [3]

Advertisement
May 2021 Blood Moon

When sunlight passes through the atmosphere, certain colors are filtered from the spectrum through Rayleigh scattering; the same effect creates the colorful sunrises or sunsets we are used to seeing. Wavelengths of colors closer to violet (and red) on the spectrum remain mostly unaffected. The completely eclipsed moon is then illuminated by this red light. [3]

Advertisement

Skywatchers guide for May 2021

So what exactly does the May 2021 Blood Moon calendar look like? There’s a visible planetary alignment and the lunar eclipse of a Super Blood Moon, so certainly some enthralling viewing. Let’s see exactly when it’s all going down.

Advertisement
  • On the 3rd of May, we saw Saturn appearing, just left of the partially lit Moon.
  • 4th of May, the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn all appeared in a triangle in the night sky.
  • Midway through may, our Solar System’s four inner planets will all be visible to the naked eye.
  • 26th of May brings us a complete lunar eclipse for the second supermoon occurrence of 2021. [2]

Read: The Sacred And Spiritual Feminine Moon Cycle

Advertisement

Where can you see it from?

An eclipse occurs at the same time, no matter your location. Take your time-zone into consideration to make your you don’t miss anything. The Pacific Rim will be the best place to view the upcoming eclipse. This means East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the western regions of the Americas. The best viewing places in the U.S. will be the west coast, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Advertisement
super moon lunar eclipse at different stages.
The supermoon lunar eclipse captured when it passed NASA’s Glenn Research Center on September 27, 2015. Credit: NASA/Rami Daud (Image : NASA)

For those viewing in the Eastern U.S., the eclipse will start in the twilight of dawn. You might see the early stages of the eclipse just as the moon begins to darken, however, the Earth’s shadow will start to obscure the view as it nears the horizon. From further west, you can view the eclipse in the morning before the setting of the moon.

Advertisement

If you live in the western part of the country, you’ll be lucky enough to almost see the eclipse in its entirety. If your location is in the viewing path, check which local times are best to see the eclipse. Be ready to get up early if you live in the U.S. if you don’t want to miss this rare phenomenon. [2]

Advertisement

When to catch the Super Blood Moon

The Super Blood Moon is the main event on the May 2021 Blood Moon calendar, as it happens during a complete lunar eclipse. You can see it on the 26th of May between 9:45 and 12:52 UTC (2:45 – 5:52 AM PDT). The full effect will occur from 11:11 to 11:26 UTC (4:11 – 4:26 AM PDT.) You can still experience the Super Flower Moon from the 25th of May in the evening until the next morning but it will not appear red. There will also be live streaming of the eclipse, as NASA has done previously, so don’t miss this one. [1]

Advertisement

Keep Reading: There are 5 eras in the universe’s lifecycle. Right now, we’re in the second era.

Sources:

1.”The Largest and Brightest Supermoon of the Year Is Happening This Month.” Travel+Leisure. May 4, 2021

2.”May Skywatching Tips: A Rocky Planet Round-Up and a Super Blood Moon Eclipse.” SciTechDaily. May 1, 2021

3.”What Is a Blood Moon?Time and Date.

Jade Small
Freelance Writer
Jade is a freelance writer and content creator from South Africa with over 7 years experience writing and creating. She's also a proud single mom to a super 13 year old boy.