(CNN Spanish) – The Moon on May 26 will undoubtedly be something very special, as it is accompanied by two events that can be enjoyed by astronomy amateurs and professionals alike.
It is a supermoon and also a lunar eclipse (which is also known as a ‘red moon’ or ‘blood moon’).
READ: Look to the sky: Venus will shine impressively from this week of supermoon and lunar eclipse
What is a supermoon?
The supermoon “is so called because it is the time when the Moon is closest to Earth, so it looks a little bigger and brighter than normal,” said Lucas Paganini, a program scientist at the headquarters of the NASA, in an interview with CNN.
Every month, the Moon goes through perigee, which is the closest point to our planet, according to information from the POT. When the crossing with the perigee is combined with a full moon, it is then that we have a supermoon.
And this May 26 we will have just this supermoon, but it will also be, according to NASA, the “most super” of the supermoons, since it is the closest point to Earth that it will be in all of 2021.
What is a red moon or blood moon?
The event becomes even more special because the supermoon will occur at the same time as a lunar eclipse.
“One of the reasons it’s called a ‘blood moon’ is because of its reddish color. This type of moon occurs during total lunar eclipses. When they occur, the Earth is situated between the Moon and the Sun, blocking the light of the Sun that is reflected in the Moon ”, explains the NASA on their website.
(Annotation: the other reason, adds the space agency, for which it is called that is due to the particles of dust, smoke or fog that are in the sky, which makes the Earth’s natural satellite look colored reddish. This type of red moon is usually seen in autumn when the leaves of the trees are of this color).
The phenomenon of light that occurs on a red moon when there is a lunar eclipse can be compared to what occurs at sunrises or sunsets.
The red moon «occurs by a phenomenon of sunlight passing through the atmosphere and what occurs is a separation of the type of sunlight (..). What you end up seeing on the Moon is the reflection of red light on the lunar surface, which means that the other colors are not seen on the surface, ”said Paganini.
“This is very similar to what happens at sunsets or sunrise, where the Sun is down and the interaction of sunlight with the atmosphere makes the star look a bit more orange than usual,” he added.
Where will it look best?
The best news, explained the NASA program scientist, is that the supermoon can be seen all over the world, as long as the sky is clear.
And, so you know where to turn to observe it, this explanation of the POT: «Like all full moons, the supermoon rises in the east around sunset and sets in the west around sunrise. It is highest in the evening hours and very early in the morning.
In the case of the lunar eclipse, it will not be the same fate, since there are few areas where it will be observed in a good way. Paganini detailed which will be the best areas to see this phenomenon:
- Practically all over Mexico.
- In southern Argentina.
- Chile, also in the south but a little more loaded towards the center.
- In the coastal area of Peru.
- Ecuador, also in the coastal area.
- In the United States, west of the Mississippi River.
- Also in Central America, especially in the countries closest to Mexico.
READ: When is the total lunar eclipse and the supermoon of the ‘flower’
As explained above, the supermoon will be at its highest in the evening hours and very early in the morning, so you will have a good time slot to see a large, bright moon.
As for the lunar eclipse, it will be at dawn, since “the event begins at 02:45 hours (Pacific time),” said Paganini.
- Time of Mexico City, Mexico – 05:45 hours.
- Bogotá, Colombia – 05:45 am. (Although, attention, the NASA expert pointed out that it is very unlikely that the eclipse will be seen in this country).
- Santa Cruz, Argentina – 07:45 hours.
- Lima, Peru – 05:45 am.
- Esmeraldas, Ecuador – 05:45 am.
- La Araucanía, Chile – 06:45 hours.