Editor's note: The Super Flower Blood Moon lunar eclipse thrilled stargazers around the world and has ended. See photos, video and more in our wrap story here (opens in new tab).
If you take a photo of the 2021 total lunar eclipse let us know! You can send images and comments to email@example.com.
The full moon on Wednesday (May 26) will be something to behold, as the only total lunar eclipse (opens in new tab) of 2021 arrives together with the year's biggest "supermoon."
Skywatchers in much of the world will have a chance to see a slightly larger-than-average full moon temporarily appear red during the so-called "Super Flower Blood Moon." But for those in parts of the world where the eclipse isn't visible — or where clouds foil the view — there will be several free webcasts showing live views of the eclipse online.
During the Super Flower Blood Moon, the full moon of May (known as the Flower Moon (opens in new tab)) will pass through Earth's shadow, causing it to appear red. This is why total lunar eclipses are commonly called "blood moons (opens in new tab)." At around the same time, the moon will reach perigee, or the closest point to Earth in its current orbit. This will make it appear slightly bigger than an average full moon, making it a "supermoon (opens in new tab)," too.
Super Flower Blood Moon 2021: When and how to see the total lunar eclipse (opens in new tab)
Weather permitting, the Griffith Observatory (opens in new tab) in Los Angeles plans to stream live views of the Super Flower Blood Moon on Wednesday (May 26) beginning at 4:45 a.m. EDT (0845 GMT) — just two minutes before the penumbral phase of the lunar eclipse begins. The broadcast will end at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT), shortly after the last partial phase of the eclipse has ended.
You can watch the Griffith Observatory's webcast live in the window above, courtesy of the observatory, or tune in via YouTube (opens in new tab). Due to the ongoing pandemic, the observatory said on its website (opens in new tab) that it will not host a public, in-person event for this eclipse as it has done in the past.
The Lowell Observatory (opens in new tab) — where the dwarf planet Pluto was famously discovered — will also broadcast live views of the eclipse from multiple telescopes at its facility in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Starting at 5:30 a.m. EDT (0930 GMT), "Lowell educators will show you live views of the eclipse through our 14” Planewave telescope and wide-view portable Vixen telescopes," the observatory said in a statement (opens in new tab). "Educators will also discuss the science of eclipses, the best ways to view them, Lowell’s history with the Moon, and much more!"
This event ends at 7:25 a.m. EDT (1125 GMT). You can watch it live in the window above, courtesy of Lowell Observatory, or on YouTube (opens in new tab).
European Space Agency
The European Space Agency (opens in new tab) (ESA) will stream a live broadcast of the Super Flower Blood Moon also beginning at 5:30 a.m. EDT (0930 GMT). ESA's webcast lasts for two hours, wrapping up about five minutes after the end of the eclipse's full phase.
Because the total lunar eclipse won't be visible from Europe, the webcast will show live video views of the moon from CSIRO (the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia's national science agency) as well as from ESA's deep-space tracking facility in New Norcia, Western Australia.
ESA's live eclipse program "will explain the basic science behind a lunar eclipse and highlight ESA's ambitious plans for the next decade of space exploration, including the Orion Service Module, the deep-space Gateway, high-speed communication, a network of data-relay orbiters and the cutting-edge technology needed to support sustainable exploration on and beneath the lunar surface," agency officials said in a statement (opens in new tab).
Several astronomers, scientists, engineers and other experts from Europe and Australia will provide live commentary during ESA's webcast (opens in new tab), including:
- Suzy Jackson, New Norcia Station Manager, CSIRO
- Ines Belgacem, planetary scientist, ESA
- Malcolm Davidson, ESA Earth & Mission Sciences Division
- Juergen Schlutz, ESA Moon Strategy Officer
- Elodie Viau, ESA's director of telecommunications
- Loredana Bessone, ESA astronaut trainer
- Gianfranco Vicente, head of ESA's Automation and Robotics group
- James Carpenter, Exploration Science Coordinator, ESA
- Karen Lee-Waddell, director of the Australian Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Regional Centre
The Virtual Telescope Project
The Virtual Telescope Project (opens in new tab), an online observatory founded by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi of the Bellatrix Astronomical Observatory in Italy, will stream two live broadcasts of the big lunar event: one for the eclipse and another for the supermoon. Astrophysicist Gianluca Masi, founder of the Virtual Telescope Project, will provide live commentary.
First, on Wednesday (May 26), the Virtual Telescope will webcast live views of the lunar eclipse, beginning at 6 a.m. EDT (1000 GMT). The webcast will feature shots from astrophotographers in Australia, New Zealand and the Americas. The moon sets in Rome at 5:34 a.m. local time, or 14 minutes before the moment of maximum eclipse, so the best views will come from these remote cameras.
Then at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT), Masi returns with a second live stream to show the biggest supermoon of the year rising over the skyline of Rome. You can watch both events live in the window above, courtesy of the Virtual Telescope Project, or directly via Masi's YouTube channel (opens in new tab).
Time and Date
Time and Date, an interactive website that offers a variety of tools for skywatching (opens in new tab) and time zone conversions, will also provide a live webcast of the Super Flower Blood Moon, beginning at 5:30 a.m. EDT (0930 GMT). The webcast will feature live views from around the world, and you can follow along with the photographers' adventures in this live blog (opens in new tab).
You can watch it live here in the window above, courtesy of Time and Date, or directly via YouTube (opens in new tab). Also, to find out what the eclipse will look like from any given location, be sure to check out Time and Date's eclipse maps and calculators (opens in new tab).
|Penumbral eclipse begins||4:47 a.m. EDT (0847 GMT)|
|Partial eclipse begins||5:44 a.m. EDT (0944 GMT)|
|Full eclipse begins||7:11 a.m. EDT (1111 GMT)|
|Maximum eclipse||7:18 a.m. EDT (1118 GMT)|
|Full eclipse ends||7:25 a.m. EDT (1125 GMT)|
|Partial eclipse ends||8:52 a.m. EDT (1252 GMT)|
|Penumbral eclipse ends||9:49 a.m. EDT (1349 GMT)|
Editor's note: This article was updated to include ESA's webcast.
Email Hanneke Weitering at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.