The second and last supermoon of 2021 will be a total lunar eclipse.
The first supermoon of 2021 took place last month on 27 April and the second will occur on 26 May. Back-to-back!
And while a full moon always gets some people talking, a supermoon, well, they tend to attract a whole lot more attention. However, the next supermoon on our calendars will be a much more interesting and fascinating astronomical event—a total lunar eclipse—and one that not everywhere in the world gets to experience.
Coinciding with the opening night of RISING, the total lunar eclipse will turn the moon blood-red in the sky as it’s obscured by the Earth’s shadow.
This astronomical event will begin at around 6:45pm and will reach its peak between 9:15 and 9:20pm on 26 May before finishing its course just before midnight.
For the best views of the total lunar eclipse, and views of the stars on the regular, it’s always recommended to head to places with as little light pollution as possible. If you’re living in the city, finding dark skies can be a little difficult. But to help you on your mission, use this light pollution map to guide your way.
Otherwise, The Astronomical Society of Victoria is hosting a viewing party at Caulfield Racecourse. It will be free to attend, but the not-for-profit will accept donations at the door. You’ll need to reserve your spot, but you’ll have to wait till Monday to do that. For now, join the waitlist.
A supermoon, or rather a full moon that coincides with the moon’s closest orbital point (called the perigee) to Earth, is actually 30 percent brighter in the night sky and 14 percent larger than when the moon is at its apogee—the furthest point from Earth.
Although the term supermoon has been around for forty-odd years, not everyone is happy with the name. The world’s most famous astrologer, Neil deGrasse Tyson who is currently the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, has said that there the very concept of a supermoon is an ”embarrassment to everything else we call super: Supernova, Supercollider, Superman, Super Mario Bros.”
This is presumably because there is no scientific evidence that supermoons actually influence or have had effects on the weather, volcanoes and earthquakes as some people believe they have.
Even still, we think they’re fascinating.