Millions of people around the world will be looking to the night sky on Wednesday, 26 May for a rare cosmic show, where the moon turns rusty red.
The Super Flower Blood moon or lunar eclipse will be viewed best in Hawaii, California, the Pacific-North West, Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, scientists say the blood moon won’t be visible in South Africa.
However thanks to livestreams you will be able to watch the total lunar eclipse from anywhere in the world.
Here are 5 facts about the blood moon:
1. You can look directly at the blood moon with your naked eye
Unlike the solar eclipse which can hurt your eye, you can watch the lunar eclipse without wearing protective eyewear.
2. The total eclipse will last approximately 15 minutes
The lunar eclipse takes about 15 minutes for the Earth to pass directly between the moon and the sun. But the entire “show” or blood moon effect will last five hours, as Earth’s shadow gradually covers the moon, then starts to ebb.
3. The red hue is a result of all the sunrises and sunsets in Earth’s atmosphere projected on the moon’s surface
The depth of the red hue will depend on a number of factors such as dust or clouds in the sky, according to NASA who answered an eclipse Q&A.
4. The next lunar eclipse will occur in May 2022
Lunar eclipses don’t occur very often, the last one was in January 2019. What makes this year’s eclipse special is that the moon will be at its fullest making it a ‘Super’ Blood Moon.
5. There are 6 stages in a lunar eclipse
A lunar eclipse consists of 6 stages also called contacts.
You can watch the Super Flower Blood Moon here: