May 26 lunar eclipse: What's the geometric alignment of Super Blood Moon?

Updated: May 25, 2021, 06:24 PM(IST)

During the Supermoon phase, the Moon is directly overhead. On May 26, the Moon will enter the Earth’s shadow creating a total lunar eclipse which will be first in almost two and a half years. 

Total lunar eclipse

A total lunar eclipse is set to take place May 26. According to NASA, the Moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from Monday night through Thursday morning.

The Moon will be so close to opposite the Sun that it will pass through the northern part of the shadow of the Earth for a total lunar eclipse. 

This full Moon corresponds to Vesak, also known as Buddha Purnima which commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha.

(Photograph:AFP)

What is a Supermoon

The Supermoon phenomenon happens when the Moon is full at the same time as, or very near, perigee - its closest point to Earth on an elliptical, monthly orbit.

In many traditional lunisolar calendars, full Moons fall in the middle of the lunar months.

(Photograph:AFP)

Full Moon on Wednesday morning

According to NASA, the full Moon will be on Wednesday morning, May 26 appearing opposite the Sun in Earth-based longitude at 7:14 a.m. EDT.

In India, it will be visible at around 2:17pm and will end at 7:19 pm on Wednesday.

The celestial phenomena will also be visible near moonset in the western United States and Canada, Mexico, Central America and Equador, western Peru, southern Chile and Argentina.

(Photograph:AFP)

What happens during a Supermoon phase

During the Supermoon phase, the Moon is directly overhead. On May 26, the Moon will enter the Earth’s shadow creating a total lunar eclipse which will be first in almost two and a half years. 

According to NASA, the Moon orbits Earth in an ellipse, an oval that brings it closer to and farther from Earth as it goes around.
The farthest point in this ellipse is called the apogee and is about 253,000 miles (405,500 kilometers) from Earth on average.

Its closest point is the perigee, which is an average distance of about 226,000 miles (363,300 kilometers) from Earth.

When a full Moon appears at perigee it is slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon – and that's where we get a "Supermoon", NASA says.

(Photograph:AFP)

Earliest sunrise

The term "Supermoon" gives preference to the geometric alignment of Sun-Earth-Moon.

According to NASA, the earliest sunrise of the year will occur at 5:42:11 a.m. on Sunday, June 13, with twilight starting at 4:30 a.m.

The longest sunlight period will occur on June 20 when the day will be the longest period of sunlight, 14 hours, 53 minutes, and 41.6 seconds.

(Photograph:AFP)

Eclipse of the Sun

There will be an eclipse of the Sun in the middle of this lunar cycle on June 10 when the the Moon will block part of the Sun. It is not safe from the eye safety point of view to look directly at the Sun's rays.

Eclipse glasses should be worn at all times when facing the Sun.

(Photograph:AFP)

Last Supermoon in New York City

May's full Moon, known as the Full Flower Moon and the last Supermoon of the year, sets behind the Statue of Liberty on May 7, 2020 in New York City.

(Photograph:AFP)

Pink Moon

The closest Supermoon to the Earth, also known as a pink Moon, behind the cross on a church in downtown Moscow on April 8, 2020

(Photograph:AFP)

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