April 30, 2022 7:15am
Keep your eyes peeled because Ontario’s sky is set to be extra captivating this May.
On the evening of May 15 and into the early morning hours of May 16, the moon will undergo a total eclipse resulting in a Blood Flower Moon.
The eclipse should be visible from coast to coast, however local weather conditions and time zones will determine a person’s viewing conditions.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is at the closest point to Earth in its orbit. It’s known as a “blood moon” because the moon turns red during the eclipse.
“It’s a spectacular event,” said Backyard Astronomer Gary Boyle. “The full moon gets darker and turns a beautiful copper-orange colour.”
According to Boyle, the moon turns this color because the sun’s rays are refractory from the earth’s atmosphere onto the moon. The “flower” part of the moon’s name is because May is the time of year when lots of flowers are blooming.
“Every month has a name given to it such as the Harvest Moon, the Hunter’s Moon,” said Boyle. “Every moon has a month on the Farmer’s Almanac.”
Boyle recommends getting out to the countryside just after midnight to witness the event.
“Getting away from city lights gets you that beautiful setting,” he said. “We’re getting a perfect show here.”
The event will be visible at the following times in Eastern Time Zones starting May 15:
• Partial umbral eclipse begins at 10:27 pm
• Total lunar eclipse beings at 11:29 pm
• Greatest eclipse at 12:11 am
• Total lunar eclipse ends at 12:53 am
• Partial umbral eclipse ends at 1:55 am
The next lunar eclipse will be on November 8.