ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — No matter your age and how many you’ve seen in your life, the full moon each month is always a head-turner.
This moon is extra special. It’s a full moon. It’s a supermoon. Plus, because, there is also a lunar eclipse, it’s a blood moon, too.
May’s full moon is known as the flower moon. This is simply because May is a time that flowers tend to bloom in most of North America.
A supermoon happens when the full moon happens to occur during the moon's closest approach (perigee) to Earth in its orbit, making the moon appear to be brighter and larger.
A supermoon may appear to be up to 14-percent larger and up to 30-percent brighter.
A supermoon needs two key ingredients to occur. The moon needs to be at its closest approach to the Earth in its 27-day orbit. The moon also needs to be at the full phase, which happens every 29.5 days.
This sometimes happens a few times a year. In fact, the full moon on April 26, 2021, was also a supermoon, although this month’s full moon is slightly closer. The next supermoon after this one will be on June 14, 2022.
Sometimes, the full moon occurs during a lunar eclipse. When this happens, it’s called a blood moon because the moon shines a faint red. This is due to the fact that the only light it receives is reflected from Earth’s atmosphere.
But wait, there’s more. Because it’s also a supermoon this month, it’s called a super blood moon.
Unfortunately, Tampa Bay will only see part of the eclipse. According to NASA, the best viewing of the eclipse will be in Hawaii, Alaska and the western states.
For the eastern part of the country, the eclipse will begin just before sunrise. In Tampa Bay, you may be able to observe the first part of the eclipse as the moon just starts to darken, but the moon will be near or on the horizon as Earth’s shadow begins to cover it.
So let’s break down the night and morning of how you can see the super flower blood moon that will appear bigger and brighter than normal. According to TimeandDate.com, here are the times of the eclipse moments for Tampa Bay:
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
7:41 p.m. The moon will rise in the east. Catch it as it’s coming up above the horizon to see it appear especially big. The moon will shine big and bright all night.
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
4:47 a.m. The Penumbral Eclipse begins in the western sky. You won’t notice much yet.
5:44 a.m. A partial moon eclipse starts and you may notice the moon start getting red.
6:36 a.m. The is the maximum view of the eclipse in Tampa Bay. This is when the eclipse reaches its greatest magnitude while the entire moon is above the horizon in Tampa Bay.
The true maximum point of this eclipse cannot be seen in Tampa Bay because the moon will be below the horizon at that time. Since the moon is near the horizon at Tampa Bay's maximum eclipse time, a beach view will be best. However, the dimming and setting moon may be difficult to see at this point.
6:38 a.m. Moonset. This is when the moon starts to drop below the horizon. As mentioned above, since the moon will be low and in the shadow of Earth, it could disappear from view sometime before it sets.
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