Stargazers freak out over rare super blood moon

Stargazers are freaking out over the double whammy super blood moon and lunar eclipse that happened in the early morning hours on May 26. 

Known as a “super flower blood moon,” the spectacle was visible at 4:11 a.m. Pacific Time from the Western U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. The view lasted for about 14 and a half minutes for the Americas and the Pacific. 

A super flower blood moon causes the moon to appear up to 14 percent bigger with an orange-red hue as it crosses the Earth’s shadow. 

“When it’s really close, the moon seems bigger and that bigness of the moon makes it rise dramatically when it’s full, makes the moon seem special and it is special as our natural satellite,” Jim Garvin, Chief Scientist at NASA told the Associated Press. 

Combined with a lunar eclipse where the Earth blocks the moon from receiving sunlight, causing it to go dark. 

“Then we have this special situation with a super blood moon when all we see is the effect of multiple sunsets and sunrises on the moon as the Earth passes through the sun shadow,” Garvin said. 

While super moons and lunar eclipses are not rare, having them at the same time is. 

“These are all happening at the same time is not incredibly uncommon. In fact, you have to have a full moon in order to have a total lunar eclipse, those two things always go hand in hand. But to have the supermoon occurring at the same time, that’s the thing that tilts into the slightly unusual part,” astronomer Dr. Gregory Brown of the Royal Observatory Greenwich told the Associated Press. 

Super blood moons and lunar eclipses are a well-studied field, so scientists won’t be able to extrapolate much from the phenomenon. Nevertheless, it’s still a pretty special natural spectacle to those who manage to catch a glimpse of the super flower blood moon. 

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