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Lunar eclipse during supermoon set for early Wednesday morning

May 25, 2021, 7:54 AM
supermoon lunar eclipse map...
All the places in the United States that will see the lunar eclipse on Wednesday morning (NASA)
(NASA)

SALT LAKE CITY — You may want to set your alarm clocks a little earlier for Wednesday morning where stargazers will be treated to a total lunar eclipse at the same time we’re seeing a supermoon.

Wednesday’s full moon is also classified as a ‘supermoon,’ which appears bigger and brighter in the night sky as its orbit brings it closer to earth. 

Where can I see the total lunar eclipse Wednesday?

NASA said people can see this total lunar eclipse on Wednesday everywhere in the Pacific and Mountain time zones, along with Texas, Oklahoma, western Kansas, Hawaii and Alaska.

For Utah residents, the eclipse will start at 3:45 a.m.; the total eclipse will start at 5:11 a.m. and last until 5:26 a.m.

Supermoon eclipse viewing in Utah

KSL Meteorologist Kevin Eubank says that there will be a good chance to see Wednesday’s lunar eclipse in Utah’s southeastern sky tomorrow morning, but some cloud cover could mess with some plans for those in northern Utah.

“We will have some clouds over northern Utah so that may be a factor, but southern and central Utah should have clear skies,” Eubank said.

If you are out bright and early, or dark and early to go see this supermoon eclipse, you’ll definitely want to make sure you pack for some cooler temperatures. Expect temps to be in the mid to low 50s in that 5 am hour tomorrow. 

Why is the moon red during a lunar eclipse?

If you’ve ever watched a day with bright blue skies fade into a beautiful sunset filled with oranges, yellows, and reds, you’ve experienced the same phenomena that will turn the moon red tomorrow morning.

As earth’s shadow passes over the moon, NASA says the sunlight that normally bounces off the moon and causes it to glow in the night sky will pass through earth’s atmosphere and scatter it. 

“Sunlight bends and scatters as it passes through Earth’s atmosphere. In air, colors at the blue and violet end of the rainbow scatter more widely than colors like red and orange. Widely scattered blue light tints the sky when the Sun is overhead on clear days. Redder light travels a straighter path through the air; we only see it scattered throughout the sky around sunrise and sunset, when sunlight has traveled through a thick slice of Earth’s atmosphere before reaching our eyes.

“During a lunar eclipse, some of this heavily filtered morning and evening light makes it all the way through Earth’s atmosphere and eventually reaches the lunar surface. The eclipsed Moon is dimly illuminated by red-orange light left over from all of the sunsets and sunrises occurring around the world at that time. The more dust or clouds in Earth’s atmosphere during the eclipse, the redder the Moon will appear.”

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