Astronomy lovers are set for a treat this weekend. The first flower moon of the year is coinciding with a total lunar eclipse in the sky to create a super moon just after midnight on May 16 and the lunar eclipse will begin around 9:30 pm just a few hours prior. Tom Anderson, the President of the Lethbridge Astronomy Society explained where the red colour of the flower moon comes from.
“The moon during a total lunar eclipse turns a really dark and coppery red. If you imagine that you’re standing on the surface of the moon and you’re looking out at the earth and the sun behind it- as the earth moves in front of the sun you’re going to see a ring of fire around the earth. That is all of the sunrises and sunsets that are going on on the earth at that time. That’s where that red colour comes from. That’s kind of poetic that when you see the red on the lunar eclipse you’re seeing the light from all the sunrises and the sunsets.”
The flower moon gets its name from the month of May due to flowers come out during the month. A lunar eclipse happens when the moon enters the shadow of the earth and it gets very dark. Each lunar eclipse happens during a full moon.
Anderson says no special equipment is needed for the viewing and the society will be hosting a viewing party at Popson Park in Lethbridge.
You can buy free tickets for the event by visiting https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/total-eclipse-of-the-moon-tickets-333718219177?fbclid=IwAR02QPhFFggihUkOke01MPMJGDrFfzTagwLCNDyPMS1tnTkd5Ru_d727nPU