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Rare Lunar Trifecta Tuesday Night With 'Super Flower Blood Moon' And Total Lunar Eclipse

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Summer stargazing is starting off at its finest this week with a special treat. Some sky watchers will be able to catch a glimpse of a rare lunar trifecta: a "super blood moon." Not only will this be the biggest and brightest full moon of the year, it coincides with a total lunar eclipse, where the Moon will appear red.

May's Super Flower Blood Moon will grace the sky the night of Tuesday May 25. The full moon in May is called the "flower" moon because it is the time of year in the Northern Hemisphere when flowers and trees are in bloom. This month's "super" moon will be the biggest and brightest of the entire year as the full moon occurs about ten hours after the it is at perigee (the closest point to Earth in its orbit).

The "blood" moon occurs early Wednesday morning as it passes through the Earth's shadow, creating the first total lunar eclipse since January 2019.

It will take the moon just over three hours to cross through the Earth's shadow, but the actual lunar eclipse will last under 15 minutes where the moon will take on a red color.

Here along the east coast, we will all be able to enjoy the Supermoon. Perigee occurs at 9:21 Tuesday night May 25. Although not technically a full moon until the following morning at 7:13 a.m., the moon will still appear bigger and brighter. The Earth-Moon distance for April's Supermoon was 222,212 miles, this month that distance shrinks to 222,117 miles. That night the moon will appear 7% bigger and about 15% brighter than a typical full moon.

Supermoon and Eclipse May 2021

The lunar eclipse will occur early Wednesday morning, but unfortunately for us here in South Florida, the moon will be setting before the total eclipse occurs.

At 5:45 a.m. Wednesday May 26, the partial eclipse will begin as the moon moves into Earth's shadow. The moonset occurs just after 6:30 a.m., well before the total eclipse which begins at 7:11 a.m.  Those in the western United States and in the Pacific will be able to view the Blood moon, called that due to the red color the moon takes on as it is in the shadow.

Weather permitting, of course, it will still be quite a show with a long name to go with it. The Super Flower Blood Moon.

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