• Reuters, Kyodo


Today’s full moon, which will be the year’s biggest supermoon and feature the first total lunar eclipse in more than two years, will be visible from most areas in Japan.

During the eclipse, the full moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow. It appears red, known as a “blood moon,” as light is scattered through the Earth’s atmosphere, much like during a sunset. In addition, the moon will be at perigee, or the closest point to Earth in its orbit, making it appear about 7% larger than normal and 15% brighter, or a supermoon, according to astronomers. May’s full moon is known as the “Flower Moon” since it occurs when spring flowers are in bloom.

The result, when taken together, is being called a “super flower blood moon.”

Skygazers in Japan, all of Australia and New Zealand and parts of Southeast Asia will be able to observe the eclipse this evening — weather permitting.

On Wednesday evening, clear skies are expected to prevail in central, eastern and northern Japan, according to the Meteorological Agency, but rain is forecast in western Japan. The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan said the eclipse will begin at 6:44 p.m., while the total lunar eclipse will last from 8:09 to 8:28 p.m.

The eclipse will happen in the early morning hours on Wednesday in western North America, with people in Alaska and Hawaii getting the best views. It can also be seen in southern Chile and Argentina.

For those in parts of the world where the event is not visible or obscured by clouds, some observatories and media outlets will webcast the eclipse.

The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles will stream live views beginning at 1:45 a.m. Pacific Time. The Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, will start its broadcast at 2:30 a.m. The Astronomical Society of South Australia will also broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube starting at 7 p.m. local time.

The next total lunar eclipse will be May 15 to 16, 2022.

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