Are You Ready for This? 7 Surprising Facts About the May 2023 ‘Flower Moon Eclipse’
This week, capture a glimpse of the brilliant “Flower Moon” as it lights up the night sky in its full glory. But wait, there’s more! Lucky watchers will also see the rare penumbral lunar eclipse.
If you’re wondering what it’s all about, here’s what you need to know about the Flower Moon and its accompanying penumbral lunar eclipse.
Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and other parts of the Pacific are in luck. Unfortunately, North America isn’t so lucky and will miss out on the penumbral lunar eclipse.
— SPACE.com (@SPACEdotcom) May 4, 2023
The Flower Moon will go in the Earth’s outer shadow for a few hours, thus forming this unique celestial phenomenon. To check if you’re in the correct zone, see Xavier Jubier’s interactive Google Map.
This week’s upcoming celestial event isn’t a total solar eclipse. But the Moon will go through Earth’s penumbral shadow. Though it won’t be precisely in alignment, this eclipse’s magnitude is at 0.964.
This level makes it the most profound penumbral eclipse until 2042. It’s nearly a partial lunar eclipse.
The penumbral eclipse might darken the Moon. But the real show is the Flower Moon’s display on the eastern skies at moonrise.
For almost 15 minutes, it will show a stunning muted orange color before it turns yellow. Then it will turn into a bright grey hue.
Turns out April showers do bring May flowers (and moons) 🌕
The Flower Moon on May 5th signals spring is in full swing and this year it will be accompanied by a lunar eclipse! Join us in celebrating this stunning sky event and share your pictures! pic.twitter.com/Ce97LwWaOX
— Museum of Science (@museumofscience) May 1, 2023
Why does a full moon appear orange when rising and setting? The Rayleigh spreading is where a short-wavelength beam scatters off our planet’s atmospheric molecules.
Long-wavelength light, such as red and orange, travels more effectively. This reaches our eyes, which creates that familiar warm glow.
The Eta Aquarid meteor shower displays on the same night as the Flower Moon: while it’s not ideal for checking out shooting stars, the Eta Aquarids have dazzling meteors.
If you’re in the penumbral lunar eclipse’s viewing zone, you have a higher chance of seeing a shooting star.
The recent “eclipse season” came with a total solar eclipse on April 20, 2023. During the solar eclipse, the Moon was precisely positioned to cross the Sun’s path.
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After two weeks, it now lines up with the Sun and Earth again. This time, the Earth is at the center, resulting in a lunar eclipse.
The Earth is in a complete lunar eclipse dry spell as the next “blood Moon” won’t happen until March 13-14, 2025. South America, North America, and the Pacific can see it.
However, considering the March weather, it could have visibility issues. In total, it would last for 65 minutes.
Overall, with these seven important facts, you can prepare to enjoy the Flower Moon and its penumbral lunar eclipse this week. Happy stargazing!