Super Blood Moon Eclipse
May 20, 2021

This video shows what you need to know to see the Super Blood Moon Eclipse

For the first time in two and a half years, a total lunar eclipse will be visible in California and west of the Rocky Mountains. Early morning on Wednesday, May 26, the moon will pass into the Earth’s shadow.

The partial eclipse is when the moon enters what’s called the penumbra. The total eclipse occurs when the moon enters the umbra, and this is the point the moon turns a blood red.

This image is from our last Super Moon Eclipse January 20, 2019. Courtesy: Jeremy Berg

The reason it’s a reddish color is the sunlight is refracting through our atmosphere and leaking through the edges of our planet on to the moon. If you were on the surface of the moon looking at Earth, you would see every sunrise and sunset at the same time.   

The view of the Lunar Eclipse from the Moon. Courtesy: Stellarium

This is also a super moon, which means it is within 90% of its closest possible distance to Earth. On the 26th, the moon will be 222,116 miles away from Earth. The moon will appear 7% larger and 15% brighter than the December 2021 full moon, when it was 252,595 miles away from Earth.

Penumbral shading becomes deeper as the moon moves toward the first partial phase, which begins when the moon’s leading edge enters Earth’s umbra. The umbra is the innermost and darkest part of a shadow, where the light from the sun is completely blocked by Earth. When the moon is within Earth’s umbral cone, no direct sunlight falls on its surface. Totality starts when the trailing edge of the moon enters the umbra.

A Lunar Eclipse animation of this process.

If you want to see this sight, you’ll have to get up extra early Wednesday morning. The times are in the image below. Totality lasts 18 minutes. Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles will also host a live online broadcast on its YouTube channel on May 26 from 1:45 a.m. to 6 a.m. PDT.

Courtesy: Sky & Telescope

This eclipse won’t be visible to everyone. You have to be west of the Rocky Mountains to see it. But our next total lunar eclipse will be visible to the entire United States May 16, 2022.

Courtesy: Sky & Telescope

If you get any excellent pictures, please share them with me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, tagging @anthonynbcla or #NBCLA.

This is a picture I took of the September 27, 2015, Lunar Eclipse. It’s a good example how our mobile phones may not capture this event well. Binoculars and telescopes give a beautiful view of eclipses.

Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse
January 9, 2019

This sequence taken January 31, 2018 of the total lunar eclipse. Pic by: Phoenix New Times

We have an incredible sight to behold Sunday night January 20th. It’s the Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse! And its the first time in three years the entire United States can see the total lunar eclipse. This unique names comes from a variety of factors.

It’s a supermoon because the full moon is within 90% of its closest possible distance to Earth. On January 20th the moon is 222,274 miles from Earth with the moon’s orbital range from 221,681 miles (perigee) to 252,6222 miles (apogee) this year.  Because of the proximity to Earth supermoons appear bigger and brighter than an average full moon.

An example of what 7% bigger across and 13% bigger in area than average looks like. Courtesy: Sky & Telescope

Total lunar eclipses are called blood moons because the moon turns a dark red as it enters Earth’s shadow. The reason the moon appears this color during totality is because the only light that is able to get to the surface of the moon is red. Imagine being on the moon and looking up at Earth during an eclipse. At this moment you are seeing every sunrise and sunset on Earth. The red ring around Earth is what is refracted to the surface of the moon.

The January full moon is known as a “wolf moon” named after wolves who howl more in their breeding season.

Here is what you need to know the night of the 20th. The partial eclipse begins at 7:34pm with the moon appearing high in the northern sky. The eclipse lasts for almost three and a half hours with totality 1 hour and 3 minutes.  That’s plenty of time, with clear skies, to see the blood moon. Here are your eclipse times on the west coast (PST).

The lunar eclipse begins the moment the moon’s leading edge slips into the penumbra. The penumbra is the area of partial shadow where part of the sun is still visible.

Penumbral shading becomes deeper as the moon moves toward the first partial phase, which begins when the moon’s leading edge enters Earth’s umbra. The umbra is the innermost and darkest part of a shadow, where the light from the sun is completely blocked by the Earth. When the moon is within Earth’s umbral cone, no direct sunlight falls on its surface.

Totality starts when the trailing edge of the moon enters the umbra.

This is a picture I took from the September 27, 2015 eclipse from Universal Studios, it was the last time everyone in the U.S. could see a lunar eclipse.

This is from last January’s Blue Blood Lunar Eclipse. It’s also a good example how our phones don’t take good pictures or eclipses.

January 20th will be the final time a lunar eclipse and a supermoon occur at the same time until May 2021.

If you do capture a great picture I’d love to see it. Please tag me @anthonynbcla on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  You can also send your eclipse pictures to Isee@nbcla.com.

The Blue Blood Supermoon: Wednesday’s Total Lunar Eclipse
January 17, 2018

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This sequence taken during the last total lunar eclipse on Sept. 28, 2015. Pic by: Sean Walker

Get ready for a spectacular ride to work Wednesday, Jan. 31. The Blue Blood Supermoon will only be visible to people along the west coast and Mountain time zone. It is a strange name, but it fits. It’s a blue moon, which is the second full moon in one month. It’s a blood moon — a total lunar eclipse. And it’s a supermoon, when the moon is at its closest distance to Earth in its elliptical path. This is the first total lunar eclipse in more than two years for North America. There are two elements to this eclipse that will make the view spectacular.

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First, the moon looks larger the closer it is to the horizon because of what is called the ‘moon illusion.’ This eclipse occurs while the moon is setting. Being lower on the horizon and being able to compare it to other objects close to Earth should make for some outstanding pictures for those with zoom lenses.

Second, this eclipse is occurring during a supermoon. Supermoons appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter than an average full moon because it is occurring when the moon is closest to Earth. The combination of these two factors will make for an incredible sight.

An example of what 7% bigger across and 13% bigger in area than average looks like. Courtesy: Sky & Telescope

The lunar eclipse begins the moment the moon’s leading edge slips into the penumbra. The penumbra is the area of partial shadow where part of the sun is still visible.

Looking west/southwest – times are PST along the west coast.

Penumbral shading becomes deeper as the moon moves toward the first partial phase, which begins when the moon’s leading edge enters Earth’s umbra. The umbra is the innermost and darkest part of a shadow, where the light from the sun is completely blocked by the Earth. When the moon is within Earth’s umbral cone, no direct sunlight falls on its surface.

Totality starts when the trailing edge of the moon enters the umbra. The length of totality for this year’s lunar eclipse will be 1 hour 16 minutes, slightly longer than the one in 2015.

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The moon is a dark red as it enters Earth’s shadow.  The reason the moon appears a blood red during totality is because the only light that is able to get to the surface of the moon is red.  Imagine being on the moon and looking up at Earth during an eclipse. At that moment you are seeing every sunrise and sunset on Earth. The red ring around Earth is what is refracted to the surface of the moon.

Some of us will be driving to work during the eclipse. The rest of us will have to get up a early. Here is a time table for the west coast. Totality begins at 4:51 a.m. and lasts through 6:08 a.m. The moon will be setting almost due west.

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Pacific Standard Time (MST is different)

I’d love to see your pictures. Please share by tagging @anthonynbcla on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  You can also send them to Isee@nbcla.com.

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This is a picture I took from the September 2015 eclipse from Universal Studios

The last time this lunar trifecta occurred was December 30, 1982.

The 1866 date that has been going around on the internet was not a Supermoon.

The next blue blood moon will be in 2028 but like 1866 it won’t be a Supermoon.

Our next lunar trifecta will be January 31, 2037 and it will be a similar set up to what we are seeing Wednesday morning.  (favoring the west coast.)

Last Blood Moon of 2015
September 22, 2015

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A blood red moon seen from Houston, Texas on April 15, 2014

The last of our four blood moons of 2015, or four total lunar eclipses, is this Sunday night, Sept. 27.  Typically there will be two lunar eclipses a year, and they can be partial, penumbral or total. You’ll have to wait more than two years to see the next total eclipse, which will be on Jan. 31, 2018.

To have four total eclipses, or a tetrad, in a row is an extremely rare event but not unprecedented. Between 1600 and 1900, there were no tetrads. What is also unique about this tetrad is all have been and will be seen in the United States.

A total eclipse of the moon is when the moon falls completely into Earth’s shadow. The moon turns red because all of the light from the sun is blocked, and only the color red is reflected to the moon. If you were on the surface of the moon and looked at Earth, you would see every sunrise and sunset around the world on the edge of Earth — and that color would also be red.

It will also be a supermoon or the full moon that is at its closest point to Earth in it’s monthly orbit, also called the perigee.  If you live along the coastline watch for this full moon to bring wide ranging spring tides.  That is, high tides climb extra high and low tides fall exceptionally low.  The next Supermoon/Lunar Eclipse won’t be until 2033. This full moon is also called the Harvest Moon, the moon that falls closest to the autumnal equinox.

Eclipse Visibility

On the west coast, the eclipse will occur during moonrise. If the skies are clear, we’ll be able to see the moon turn a blood red early in the evening.

In Los Angeles at 6:07 p.m. Sunday, the moon will begin to move into Earth’s shadow. Because moonrise isn’t until 6:43 p.m., we will not see this.  The total eclipse begins at 7:11 p.m. with the peak at 7:47 p.m. Totality ends at 8:23 p.m., and the moon moves out of Earth’s shadow at 9:27 p.m.  This image shows it well.

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Right now it looks like a great forecast for Southern California with clear skies. If you get a great picture of the Blood Moon, please post it on my Facebook page, or tag @anthonynbcla on Twitter or Instagram and include #NBC4You. Your picture may get on TV.

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mikemezphotography.com

This is my all time favorite blood moon picture captured by Mike Mezeul II.  This is his time lapse from the Texas Hill Country.

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This is a really good YouTube video explaining everything about the blood moons the past two years.

You may have heard how the blood moons signal the end of the world or the apocalypse. These total lunar eclipses fall on the same days as the Jewish feasts of Passover in the spring and Sukkoth (Tabernacles) in the fall. This website looks at past blood moons and attempts to make a correlation of bad things to come.

If you’re in Houston, this total eclipse will begin at 9:11 p.m. and end at 10:23 p.m. In Albuquerque, it will begin at 8:11 p.m. and end at 9:23 p.m.