The full “flowering” moon of May is the first total eclipse in more than 2 years

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There are two to four supermoons a year. These lunar events are often a bright sight see because they are brighter and larger than a normal full moon. The definition of a supermoon varies, but it is generally defined by how close the moon is to Earth.

The May supermoon will also be the first total lunar eclipse since January 2019, according to EarthSky. The moon will take a little over three hours to traverse the shadow of the Earth, but the actual lunar eclipse will take less than 15 minutes.

During the eclipse, the moon will have a red hue of sunlight filtering through the Earth’s atmosphere, according to NASA, so you can also call this month’s event a “blood moon”.

Depending on your location, you may be able to spot part of the eclipse. Most North and South America will be able to see it early in the morning, while East Asia and Australia will see it in the evening.

In the United States, the total eclipse will begin at 7:11 am ET and end at 7:26 am ET, but will be partially visible from 5:45 am ET to 8:52 am ET. To check if the eclipse will be available where you live, go to timeanddate.com.
The full moon is called the “flowering” moon in May, because it is when flowers bloom across North America, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Many Native American tribes across the country were also inspired by spring flowers when they named the full moon of May, according to the Planetarium of West Washington University.

The Anishnaabe tribe in the Great Lakes reason calls the full moon “waabigwani-giizis” or “blooming moon.” The Lakota tribe in the Northern Plains call it “canapé to wi” or “moon of the green leaves.”

Some tribes named the moon after a popular red berry, with the Potawatomi tribe in the Great Lakes region calling it “te’minkeses” and the Shona tribe in the Midwest calling it “hotehimini kiishthwa”, both of which translate to strawberry moon.

Typical for a normal year, 2021 has 12 full moons. (There were 13 full moons last year, two of which were in October.)

Here are all the remaining full moons this year and their names, according to The Old Farmer Almanac:

June 24 – strawberry moon

July 23 – beak moon

August 22 – Sturgeon moon

September 20 – harvest moon

October 20 – Hunter Moon

November 19 – Beaver Moon

December 18 – cold moon

Be sure to also check out the other names of these moons, assigned to their respective Native American tribes.

Here’s what else you can look forward to in 2021.

Meteor showers

It is seen from Glacier Point Trailside in Yosemite National Park, California.

The Delta Aquariids meteor shower is best seen from the southern tropics and will reach its peak between July 28 and 29, when the moon will reach 74%.

Interestingly, another meteor shower peaks the same night – the Alpha Capricorns. Although this is a much weaker shower, it is known to produce some glowing fireballs during its peak. It will be visible to everyone regardless of which side of the equator you are on.

The Perseid meteor shower, the most popular of the year, will peak between August 11 and 12 in the Northern Hemisphere, when the moon will reach only 13%.

Here is the schedule for meteor showers for the rest of the year, according to EarthSky’s meteor shower forecast.
  • October 8: Draconids
  • October 21: Orionids
  • 4 to 5 November: South Taurides
  • 11 to 12 November: North Bulls
  • November 17: Leonids
  • December 13-14: Gemini
  • December 22: Ursids

Solar and lunar eclipses

This year there will be two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses – and three of them will be visible to some in North America, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

A ring solar eclipse will occur on June 10, visible in northern and northeastern North America from 4:12 am to 9:11 am ET. The sun will not be completely blocked by the moon, so be sure to wear eclipse glasses to safely see this event.

November 19 will see a partial eclipse of the moon, and sky observers in North America and Hawaii can watch it between 1 am ET and 7:06 am ET.

And the year will end with a total solar eclipse on December 4th. It will not be visible in North America, but those in the Falkland Islands, the southern tip of Africa, Antarctica and southeastern Australia will be able to spot it.

Visible planets

Sky observers will have multiple opportunities to spot the planets in our sky for some mornings and evenings through 2021, according to the planetary guide from the Farmer Almanac.

It is possible to see most of these with the naked eye, except for distant Neptune, but binoculars or a telescope will provide the best view.

Mercury will look like a bright star in the morning sky from June 27 to July 16 and October 18 to November 1. It will shine in the night sky from August 31st to September 21st, and from November 29th to December 31st.

Venus, our closest neighbor in the solar system, will appear in the western sky in the evening from May 24 to December 31. It is the second brightest object in our sky, after the moon.

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Mars appears in the morning sky between November 24 and December 31, and it will be visible in the evening sky until August 22.

Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, is the third brightest object in our sky. It will be on display in the morning until August 19th. Look for it in the evening from August 20th to December 31st – but it will be brightest from August 8th to September 2nd.

Saturn’s rings can only be seen with a telescope, but the planet itself can still be seen with the naked eye in the morning until August 1 and in the evening from December 2 to 31. It will be brightest during the first four days of August. .

Binoculars or a telescope will help you spot the green glow of Uranus in the morning from May 16 to November 3 and in the evenings from November 4 to December 31. It will be brightest between August 28th and December 31st.

And our farthest neighbor in the solar system, Neptune, will be visible with a telescope in the morning until September 13th and in the evening from September 14th to December 31st. It will be brightest between July 19th and November 8th.

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