RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – We can expect to see a full lunar eclipse in the night sky on Sunday, May 15. This celestial event is referred to as the “super flower blood moon” because the moon will take on a reddish tint as it crosses into Earth’s shadow being cast by the sun.
The name, “super flower blood moon,” also pays tribute to the month of May, when spring flowers are in bloom.
This eclipse will last for 84 minutes and should be visible in Virginia if we don’t have any clouds hindering our view. The event happens later in the day and lasts into Monday morning, and its peak viewing time is past midnight.
The first stages of the eclipse begin at 9:32 p.m. EDT and continue through midnight, not officially ending until 2:50 a.m. EDT. You should be able to see the moon turn a dark, reddish tint and be dark briefly between 11:29 p.m. and 12:53 a.m. EDT.
It is completely safe to watch this eclipse with the naked eye.
During the total lunar eclipse, there will be several stages to watch, from a full moon then transitioning to a half moon, then to a quarter moon, then into the reddish tint before transitioning back to the typical white full moon to end the eclipse.
Contrary to belief, total lunar eclipses are not rare. They usually take place twice a year somewhere on Earth. The next one will happen on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.
Total solar eclipses are rarer compared total lunar eclipses and can only be seen in smaller geographic areas. The next one will happen on Monday, April 8, 2024.