As promised, right after midnight tonight, that long month of April showers will finally pay off, as we will get our best look at the May Flower Moon!
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the May full moon, known as “the Flower Moon,” will be a
“supermoon and coincide with a total lunar eclipse for most of North America” – also referred to as a “Blood Moon.” This is a fitting conclusion to Friday the 13th weekend!
The Farmer’s Almanac also credits the Algonquin people of Pikwakanagan, Ontario, for giving the May full moon it’s springtime-name. Other cultures have dubbed it the “Budding Moon,” the “Planting Moon,” and the “Moon of the Shedding Ponies.”
So, what exactly is a Blood Moon then? Well, here’s how Green Bank Observatory in Pocahontas County explains it…
“A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are in precise alignment. The Earth blocks the light from the Sun, casting the Moon in its shadow. The fully eclipsed Moon takes on a reddish hue, sometimes called a Blood Moon. A bright ‘supermoon’ occurs when the Moon is at its closest point to Earth during its lunar cycle.”
To celebrate this unique astronomical phenomenon, Green Bank Observatory will be hosting a free “Over The Moon Party” tonight, Sunday, May 15, beginning at 5:30. The outdoor-event will offer fun activities for future scientists of all-ages, including a moon bounce, a space suit, and tours of the Green Bank Telescope. Dinner and snacks will be available for purchase from the Starlight Cafe.
If you’re unable to make it out to the Green Bank Observatory this evening – fear not. No special equipment is required to see the Supermoon eclipse! You need only look to the sky…
The total eclipse will begin at 11:28 p.m. on the east coast, and reach its peak at 12:11 a.m. The total eclipse will reach its conclusion at 12:53 a.m.
Tonight’s Supermoon total eclipse is the first of two that will occur in 2022, with the second happening on November 8. So get outside and enjoy your stargazing, and don’t forget to make a wish on the Blood Moon! And if you should start developing fangs or feel hair growing on the backs of your hands, just go with it…
And by all means, please send any cool pictures you might take to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to see them – and we just might publish them on our website!
Matthew Young has been a resident of Lewisburg, WV since December 2019. Prior to arriving in West Virginia, Matthew resided in the Philadelphia area, where his reporting, commentary, and editorials have been featured in numerous local and regional publications. Previously, he has served as a scriptwriter and consultant for television, radio, and various other short-form digital-media platforms, both within the United States and internationally. Since moving to the Mountain State, Matthew spent eighteen months as senior writer/managing editor for the West Virginia Daily News and is currently an active journalist with the West Virginia Press Association.