Explained: What is Super Blood Moon?

Explained: What is Super Blood Moon?


The only lunar eclipse of the year will be happening on May 26. In the rare celestial event called Super Blood Moon, the moon will appear to be about 8 percent larger than an average-sized full moon and have a reddish hue.

What’s a Super Blood Moon and when does it appear?

The moon passes through the perigee (the point closest to Earth) and the apogee (the point farthest from Earth) every month. However, when the Moon is at (or near) its closest point to Earth and is full at the same time, it is called a ‘super moon’. During this cosmic phenomenon, the moon will be the closest to Earth on its elliptical path, making it appear a little brighter and bigger than usual.

Why does the moon look red?

When the Moon is completely covered by Earth’s shadow it will darken, but doesn’t go completely black. Instead, it takes on a red color, which is why total lunar eclipses are sometimes called red or blood moons.

How does a lunar eclipse work?

A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth’s shadow covers all or part of the Moon. This can only happen during a full moon, so first, it helps to understand what makes a full moon. Like the Earth, half of the Moon is illuminated by the sun at any one time. A full moon happens when the Moon and the Sun are on opposite sides of the Earth. This allows you see the entire lit-up side, which looks like a round disc in the night sky.

The event will be visible mostly from Eastern Asia, the Pacific Ocean, most parts of North and South America and Australia, but individuals in any part of the world can catch the re-run of the celestial phenomenon on the NASA website. It will be visible in India for a short span in the Northeast, some parts of West Bengal, coastal parts of Odisha and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands.

— With inputs from agencies


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