A rare astronomical event is on tonight in California
Night sky watchers, this is the first time in two years that you can see this rare astronomical event. A super blood moon lunar eclipse can be viewed in California
The blood moon lunar eclipse is on this Wed, 26 May 2021. The next total lunar eclipse that will be visible in Southern California will be in May 2022. So don't miss this astronomical event. With a reasonably clear skies forecast, all you need to do is stay up for the event or wake up very early. Read on for information on where to see the lunar eclipse and when.
"A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes completely into the shadow cast by the Earth. The round disk of the full moon slowly moves into the dark shadow, and the bright moon grows dim. The moon does not, however, become completely dark." - Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California.
During the total lunar eclipse, the moon will look a dark red color giving it the eerie name, blood moon.
Not only will it be a total lunar eclipse, but it will be a super moon. This is when the moon is at or near its closest point to Earth at the same time as it is full. The full moon appears a lot larger and brighter due to it being a little close to us than usual.
The eclipse starts at 1:45 a.m. The main event starts to happen at 2:45 a.m., when you can see the moon begin to creep into the shadow of the Earth. However, you will have to wait till 4:19 a.m. for the maximum eclipse. The eclipse duration is 4 hours, 6 minutes, and it ends at 5.53 a.m.
The eclipse can be seen with the naked eye though obviously, a telescope is better, and unlike solar eclipses, it is safe to look at the lunar eclipse.
Best places in California to see the total lunar eclipse
People in the West of the United States will have a great view of the moon. Though, California has the best views of any other state in the USA.
The best places to watch the full moon are in dark locations without many street lights, such as a park.
Bear in mind that the moon will be low in the sky. Pick a spot that is not obstructed by buildings or trees.
Also, note there is a chance of fog if you are on the coast, so it is best to go somewhere inland.
If you have time to jump in the car for a short few hours road trip from Los Angeles, you will find less light pollution at Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley. These California national parks will also provide a more extraordinary landscape.
Unfortunately, the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California, usually open for astronomical events, is still closed due to the pandemic. However, they are putting on a live feed of the eclipse on their website and YouTube.
The good thing about watching the live stream is you don't need to get dressed, and you can wake up 20 minutes before the full moon eclipse at 4:19 a.m.