What is a lunar eclipse?
A lunar eclipse happens when three things happen at the same time:
- the Sun, Moon and Earth are closely aligned
- the Moon is a Full Moon
- the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow
Depending on where the Moon is located along Earth’s shadow determines what type of eclipse it is.
- If the Moon is located within Earth’s umbra, the central and darkest part of Earth’s shadow, it’s a total lunar eclipse.
- If the Moon is only partially within the umbra, a partial lunar eclipse occurs.
- If the Moon is located outside of the umbra and passes through the penumbra, the outer part of Earth’s shadow, a penumbral lunar eclipse occurs.
What’s special about the eclipse on May 26?
On May 26, 2021 parts of the world will be able to see a total lunar eclipse, which hasn’t been seen in over 2 years. The last total lunar eclipse occurred in January 2019.
It will also be a supermoon, where the Moon is closest to Earth in its orbit and is also a Full Moon.
Where and when can I see the eclipse?
If you’re located in Hawai’i, New Zealand, parts of Western North America, Australia, and Eastern Asia you’ll be able to see the total lunar eclipse if you have good weather.
Check out the map below for a more detailed view of where the lunar eclipse is visible:
The eclipse officially starts at 8:47 am UTC (1:47 am PDT, 5:47 pm JST, 6:47 pm AEST), but the total eclipse won’t begin until 11:11 am UTC (4:11 am PDT, 8:11 pm JST, 9:11 pm AEST). This eclipse occurs in the early morning hours of May 26 for much of the world.
Totality, or the point when Earth’s shadow is fully covering the Moon, is predicted to be short — a bit more than 15 minutes — so, if you’re planning to watch, be sure to plan for it ahead of time and make sure your timing is on point!
For more information, check out Sky & Telescope’s guide to the lunar eclipse.
If you happen to snap a picture with your eVscope, we encourage you to share them and join the conversation through our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages using the hashtag #UnistellarEclipse!
Clear skies! 🔭