Sunday’s full moon is the first so-called supermoon of the year, when the moon is closest to Earth in its elliptical travels around our planet.
Though the odds currently aren’t great that Pacific Northwest skies will be clear enough for us to see the “super flower blood moon” total lunar eclipse on Sunday night, you never know.
Sometimes the forecast says rain and the skies end up clear. So just in case, here’s the scoop:
During a lunar eclipse, the Earth is right between the sun and the moon and that casts a shadow on the moon and bathes it in a deep red color. This phenomenon is why total lunar eclipses are commonly called blood moons. This particular eclipse will be one of the longest of the decade, lasting nearly an hour and a half, according to National Geographic.
The name “flower moon” has been attributed to the Algonquin peoples, the Farmer’s Almanac said, citing Christina Ruddy of The Algonquin Way Cultural Centre in Pikwakanagan, Ontario. The name is a tribute to the blooms that appear in early spring.
So the May 15 eclipse can be called a “super flower blood moon.”
The entire phase of totality will be visible in all of South America and across most of North America. In some parts of the Pacific Northwest, the already-eclipsed moon will rise just before the sun sets, brightening as it climbs into the night sky. The total phase of the eclipse, when the moon is at its deepest red, will begin Sunday at 8:29 p.m. PDT and will last until 9:54 p.m.
If we miss this one, and the National Weather Service in Seattle seems to think that’s likely since there’s a 90% chance of precipitation that day, there’s going to be another one on November 8.