Starwatch: Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse


A total lunar eclipse of the Supermoon of 2021 occurs this week! On the morning of Wednesday, May 26, those in the western half of the U.S. will be able to witness a total lunar eclipse. While in the eastern half, including here in the Tri-Cities, we will only see a partial lunar eclipse. 

The penumbral portion of the eclipse, or the outer shadow of Earth casting across the moon, here in the Tri-Cities begins at 4:47 am. Here the moon will begin to darken. The actual partial eclipse, or the Earth’s main shadow casting across the moon, begins at 5:44 am. The local max occurs at 6:15 am. This is when the max shadow of Earth on the moon will appear. The moon may appear to glow red or orange.

There are some problems we will encounter here in the Tri-Cities when viewing the partial lunar eclipse. The moon will be setting just after the local max. Therefore, the moon will be very low in the west sky. Also, this is all occurring while the sun is rising. With more light in the sky, some of the vibrancy of this eclipse may be washed out. 

To best view the partial lunar eclipse in the Tri-Cities, it is recommended to get to a high spot. You want to get a view where the least amount of obstruction, like mountains or trees, will block the best view. 

Thanks to NASA,

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