Astronomy enthusiasts will witness the first total lunar eclipse of 2021 on May 26. Total lunar eclipses are also known as Blood Moon since the moon appears slightly reddish-orange. The Blood Moon on May 26 will last for 14 minutes and 30 seconds. The colour of the moon on this day depends on dust particles and different wavelengths of colours reaching the surface of the moon.
What is a total lunar eclipse?
Total lunar eclipses take place when the Sun, the Moon and the Earth are aligned in a straight line. The Earth comes in between the Sun and the Moon and in turn, blocks the sun rays from reaching the moon in case of a total lunar eclipse.
This eclipse occurs only on the Full Moon. You can, however, look at a lunar eclipse with a naked eye, unlike the solar eclipse.
What is Blood Moon?
As per NASA, the blood moon takes place in case of a lunar eclipse when the Earth comes in between the sun and the Moon to block the rays of the sun from reaching the moon.
"When this happens, the only light that reaches the Moon's surface is from the edges of the Earth's atmosphere. The air molecules from Earth's atmosphere scatter out most of the blue light. The remaining light reflects onto the Moon's surface with a red glow, making the Moon appear red in the night sky," NASA said on its website.
Where can you see the Blood Moon on May 26?
Skywatchers in parts of Australia, New Zealand, western United States, South America, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and parts of South-East Asia can view this celestial event.
If you are an astronomy enthusiast who does not live in these areas and wants to watch this event, you can visit the timeanddate YouTube channel in order to view the live feed of the lunar eclipse.
Eclipses in 2021
After May 26 lunar eclipse, sky gazers can get to see the annular solar eclipse on June 10, Partial lunar eclipse on November 19 and Total solar eclipse on December 4.