You’ll howl if you miss it! How to catch Wednesday’s rare super blood moon

May 26, 2021
Wednesday night's super blood moon will be visible from all parts of Australia. Source: Getty

A rare combination of celestial phenomena is set to grace our skies on Wednesday night, with a super moon and a total lunar eclipse both taking place on May 26.

The event, which will be visible from about 7.45pm on Wednesday, will feature both a super moon (when a full moon reaches the closest point to Earth in its orbit) and a blood moon, which is caused by a total lunar eclipse.

The best news is, the most spectacular parts of the eclipse will be visible to all parts of Australia (weather dependant, of course).

What is it?

Stargazers will enjoy a spectacular sight on Wednesday evening, with the moon appearing a reddish hue as the Earth casts its shadow across the moon during its eclipse phase.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is positioned directly in front of the sun while the moon’s orbit is aligned, meaning it passes through some part of the Earth’s shadow. A total lunar eclipse last occurred in January 2019, but the last one to be visible in Australia was in 2018.

Super moons are a more common phenomenon and take place when the full moon occurs near the closest point in its orbit to Earth.

The last time there was a combination of these two events was in early 2018, when a blood moon and a super moon also coincided with a blue moon for the first time since 1866.

Where to watch

The eclipse will be visible from Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, South-East Asia and parts of North and South America at the same time. Starting about 7.45pm in the eastern states, which will be 5.45pm in Western Australia, the moon will slowly darken as it passes into the Earth’s shadow.

The lunar eclipse will take more than an hour, while the totality — the period of complete shadow — will last about 15 minutes, starting about 9.10pm AEST and reaching its peak about 9.25pm AEST.

The best time to watch will depend on your location.

If you’re in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory or Tasmania:

Partial eclipse begins: 7.44pm
Total eclipse begins: 9.11pm
Maximum eclipse: 9.18pm
Total eclipse ends: 9.25pm
Partial eclipse ends: 10.52pm

For South Australian and Northern Territory residents:

Partial eclipse begins: 7.14pm
Total eclipse begins: 8.41pm
Maximum eclipse: 8.48pm
Total eclipse ends: 8.55pm
Partial eclipse ends: 10.22pm

For Western Australia residents:

Partial eclipse begins: 5.44pm
Total eclipse begins: 7.11pm
Maximum eclipse: 7.18pm
Total eclipse ends: 7.25pm
Partial eclipse ends: 8.52pm

While the combination is rare enough, astrologers warn that with mercury in retrograde in coming days, we could be in for a whole lot of “crazy”, and predict many couples could be in for some serious emotional turmoil.

Australia’s intuitive astrologer and spiritual adviser Rose Smith told news.com.au that all three combined will pose a “tremendous amount of emotion” for every star sign, but in particular the three fire signs: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

“Full moons ordinarily can bring out the ‘crazy’ in people, but we can expect people doing crazier things than usual — and this can be attributed to pent-up emotional tension,” she said. “People should be trying to release this tension around the super blood moon in healthy ways, sitting with their feelings and endeavouring not to deny them.

“There’s going to be a great push for Sagittarians and other fire signs to get rid of toxic situations and relationships. A lot of relationships are going to break up in this period – all signs, everybody will be affected – but fire signs will bear the brunt of it.”

Will you be watching the super blood moon tonight?

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