The Super Flower Blood Moon Eclipse – when a supermoon and total lunar eclipse coincides – will take place on May 26, 2021.
When it will happen in Singapore
According to Stargazing Singapore, the moon can be seen island-wide with the naked eye.
Totality will last for 14 minutes and will take place between 7:11pm to 7:25pm.
The entire duration of the total lunar eclipse will take 2 hours and 45 minutes and will start from 7:04pm to 9:49pm, according to The Astronomical Society of Singapore.
Visibility depends on the weather conditions and the Phase 2 Heightened Alert's safe distancing measures of two people per social gathering applies.
Ring of fire
Following the full moon in the Super Flower Blood Moon Eclipse, the new moon will be furthest from the Earth.
This will result in a ring-shaped solar eclipse, the likes of the "ring of fire" in Singapore in 2019.
According to Forbes, this will happen on Jun. 10, 2021.
However, it will only be visible in some parts of Canada, Greenland and Russia and not in Singapore.
The next annular – ring-shaped – eclipse that will be fully visible from Singapore will only occur on February 28, 2063.
Super Flower Blood Moon Eclipse
Despite being a mouthful, each term within the Super Flower Blood Moon Eclipse helps explain and describe the phenomenon.
Here's the breakdown:
Super flower moon – a supermoon in May
The moon takes approximately 27 days to make one full cycle around the Earth.
During this time, there will be two separate incidences where the moon will be the furthest away – apogee – and closest to – perigee – the Earth respectively.
A supermoon occurs when the perigee coincides with a full moon.
The supermoon in May is named the "flower moon" as it takes place in the season of spring, when flowers are blooming, according to BBC's science magazine Science Focus.
However, the supermoon in May also goes by other names, like "corn planting moon", "milk moon", and the "Vesak Festival moon", which as the name suggests, the phenomenon is concurrent with Vesak Day, as noted by Stargazing Singapore.
The definition of what constitutes a supermoon differs between experts, resulting in a varying number of supermoon occurrences reported.
Only the supermoons in April and May 2021 have been widely agreed upon.
Blood moon eclipse – total lunar eclipse
As mentioned, the position of the moon varies during its orbit.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon moves into the shadow of the Earth.
However, a total lunar eclipse only occurs in the event of a full moon.
There are two incidents where the moon, Earth and Sun will be collinear: When the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun – a new moon – and the moon is on the other side of the Earth and the Sun – a full moon.
Total lunar eclipse comprises and oscillates between these three stages: Penumbral lunar eclipse, partial lunar eclipse and total lunar eclipse.
Depending on the relative extent of the Earth's shadow on the full moon, the two earlier stages occur when the full moon lies within the Earth's outer shadow – penumbra.
On the other hand, a total lunar eclipse – totality – occurs when the full moon lies in the middle of the said shadow – umbra.
During these stages, the moon will reflect light from the Earth and progressively take on on a copper reddish-hue resembling blood, thus, explaining the term blood moon.
Top image from Kweetoo KT Ong/FB and Stargazing Singapore/FB