Lunar Eclipse 2022

Lunar Eclipse: What Does the Term ‘Super Flower Blood Moon' Mean?

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On Sunday evening, residents across the Midwest could be treated to an incredible celestial show, as a full lunar eclipse will take place over the course of several hours.

The eclipse, one of two lunar eclipses that will be visible from the Chicago area this year, will get started at approximately 8:32 p.m., and will hit totality at approximately 10:29 p.m., remaining there for nearly 90 minutes, according to the Adler Planetarium.

Now, this eclipse has been given a lot of names, but the most popular (and wordy) has been the title of “Super Flower Blood Moon.”

There are three different components to that name, and here’s what they mean:

Super

A “super moon,” according to NASA, occurs when the moon is nearest its point of “perigee,” its closest point to the Earth in its elliptical orbit around our planet.

That average distance is around 226,000 miles, nearly 13,000 miles closer than it is on average, according to the agency.

Sunday’s full moon will be the first “super moon” of 2022, with three more set to occur this year. During the so-called “super moon,” the moon appears larger and brighter in the sky than it does at other times.

The closest full moon to Earth in 2022 will occur on July 13, when the moon will be just over 222,000 miles from here.

Flower

Each month’s full moon has its own unique name, and in the month of May, the “flower moon” takes to the skies over Earth.

Next month’s moon is traditionally called the “Strawberry Moon,” according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Blood

When a lunar eclipse occurs, the moon will typically take on a reddish-hue, giving it the nickname the “blood moon.”

During a total lunar eclipse, the sun, Earth and moon perfectly line up, with the Earth blocking most of the sun’s rays from hitting the moon.

According to Live Science, the sun’s light rays are able to get around the Earth during an eclipse, but as they do so, they first go through the planet’s atmosphere, scattering shorter-wavelength blue light from reaching the moon’s surface.

As a result, the moon appears red during a lunar eclipse.

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