A blood flower supermoon is upon us and depending where you are in the country, there could be an opportunity to catch a sight of this mystical occasion early Wednesday.
A number of factors are at play to create this rare celestial event, in which the sun, moon and Earth are completely aligned. The moon will be moving into the earth’s shadow, to create a lunar eclipse, which can only happen when it's full. Unlike a solar eclipse, lunar eclipses are safe to watch with the naked eye.
What makes this moon "super"?
What makes this moon “super” is that it will be the closest to the earth as it can be during its monthly orbit - 357,453 km, to be precise. It will be the last one of the year, as the previous supermoon of 2021 took place on April 26, when it was a Pink Full Moon.
The term “flower moon” comes from the Farmer’s Almanac, which labels each full moon of every month. The flower moon is inspired by the blossoming that comes in the Spring.
There are several phases of a lunar eclipse. It starts with the penumbral eclipse, followed by a partial phase and finally, totality. The phases reverse as the moon moves out of the umbra, which is the best time to start watching.
How to view the moon in Canada
This special spectacle in the sky will be visible to certain parts of Canada, most optimally in B.C. and southern Yukon. There, the penumbral eclipse starts at 1:47 a.m. PDT, and the umbra eclipse begins at 2:44 a.m. PDT. The moon will be fully immersed in the umbra beginning at 4:11 a.m. PDT, reaches maximum eclipse at 4:18 a.m. PDT, and starts its exit from the umbra at 4:25 a.m. PDT.
In Southwestern Saskatchewan and Alberta, the full first half of the eclipse will be easily seen when the moon enters the penumbra at 2:47 a.m. CST/MDT. It then transitions into the umbra at 3:44 a.m. CST/MDT, and will be completely immersed in the umbra by 5:11 a.m. CST/MDT.
In Central Northwest Territories and Yukon, northeastern Alberta, Regina, SK and western Ontario, partial eclipse begins at 4:47 a.m. EDT, 3:47 a.m. CDT, or 2:47 a.m. CST/MDT, transitioning into the umbra starting approximately one hour later. The best time to start watching is 5:44 a.m. EDT, 4:44 a.m. CDT and 3:44 a.m. CST/MDT.
In Southwestern Ontario the penumbral eclipse begins at 4:47 a.m. EDT, and then transition into the umbra will start at 5:44 a.m. EDT.
In Western Nunavut, northern Northwest Territories and Yukon, Eastern and Northern Ontario, and Quebec, the penumbral eclipse starts at 4:47 a.m. EDT, with the moon setting somewhere between 15-45 minutes later, depending where you are in the country.
In eastern Nunavut, New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador the eclipse, unfortunately, won’t be visible at all. Fortunately, The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and the Asahi Shimbun will be livestreaming the event from Mauna Kea, Hawaii on its YouTube channel.
For a more detailed report on the specific times and places to watch the blood flower supermoon across Canada, check out The Weather Network summary.