May is a special month for celestial events. Not only has it presented the stunning Eta Aquarid meteor shower, but it also hosts a supermoon, a flower moon, a blood moon, and the only total lunar eclipse of 2021 (whoa!). The most magical part of it all? These events (except the Eta Aquarid meteor shower) align on the same night, early on May 26, creating a "super flower blood moon eclipse" (say that 10 times fast!). The rare celestial occurrences will take place between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. PT, with the lunar eclipse reaching its peak at 4:11 a.m. Trust us when we say that you don't want to miss out, especially if you live on the West Coast, which has the best viewing point. But before you whip out your telescopes and shut off your house lights, let us give you a quick explainer on what the heck a super flower blood moon eclipse is.
What Is a Supermoon?
A supermoon happens when a full moon coincides with the moon's closest monthly point to Earth in orbit. The phenomenon makes the moon look extra large to the human eye, giving it a magnified look. This event happens multiple times a year, with this year's supermoons happening on April 27, May 26, and June 24.
What Is a Flower Moon?
May's full moon is called a flower moon to signify the flowers that come out in May. It's the traditional name for May's full moon and happens yearly.
What Is a Blood Moon?
A blood moon happens during a total lunar eclipse, when the moon's rocky white exterior suddenly becomes a dusty shade of red. This year's total lunar eclipse — where the sun, Earth, and the moon align — is expected to last for roughly 14 minutes. This will happen just a few hours after the supermoon, making it a super flower blood moon eclipse!