Night Sky: Full Super Moon

Our Full Moon on May 26 is the closest and biggest full moon of the year, so it's called a Super Moon. What's interesting about this one is that it's going to be a lunar eclipse that morning.

In the morning the Sun rises in the east and the moon sets in the west. When the moon is at a certain position, earth can block the Sun from lighting the moon. That's when we get a lunar eclipse.

When the moon passes through Earth's shadow, the lunar eclipse can last for an hour. This year the moon isn't in the full position to do that. So, the eclipse will only last about 15 minutes. This time occurs when the Sun rises, and Earth is between the Sun and Moon. 

The major area for seeing this is the Pacific Ocean. So, if we were in Hawaii, it would be an hour-long eclipse. But we will see some of it here. So, you must plan to get up a little early.

You may have to get up at 5 a.m. and look at the moon in the west — 5:20 may be the perfect time to see the eclipse. At first the moon will be a brilliant orange-red color. Then it will get shadowed and become very dark for a few minutes. By 5:30 it will be over.

That's the schedule that I read, but it may be a little different here. So, you need to observe the moon until it sets. It's hard to tell what we're going to see from here. So, just look to see if there are any shadows on the moon. 

The only reason you have to get up so early is because it's almost summer when the days are longer, and the nights are shorter. You might want to get up at 5 a.m. the day before and look at the moon. That's when you can see if it looks OK, or if the sky is getting too light. If it is, you will have to get up earlier on the 26th. I'm looking forward to doing this.