What is a blood moon

A super blood moon for the lunar eclipse in May

On May 26th, the earth satellite will stand behind earth and sun in its monthly opposition. All three celestial bodies are then in a line. In addition, the moon will be very close to the earth and stand in the firmament as a super full moon. Since there is also a total lunar eclipse on this day, there will be a blood moon. Thus, May 26th is all about the super blood moon.

What is a total lunar eclipse?

A total lunar eclipse can only occur on a full moon, but not every month. It takes place around twice a year. This is due to the orbit and the inclination of the earth's satellite. This is namely inclined by about five degrees to the orbit of the earth around the sun. As a result, the full moon is not regularly covered by the shadow of the earth. On May 26th, however, the earth casts its umbra on its companion.

When the satellite is in the umbra of the earth and there is a total lunar eclipse, the moon turns reddish-copper. That is why there will be such a darkness Blood moon or Copper moon called. The light is to blame. It consists of different wave ranges, which are longer or short-wave depending on the color. For example, blue and green light have very short waves. When this hits the Earth's atmosphere, it is very strongly scattered.

It looks different with yellow, orange and red light waves. They are very long and can therefore be distracted less easily from the earth's atmosphere. They penetrate the atmosphere and are directed inwards by about five degrees. The light waves hit the moon and color it red.

The intensity of the color depends on the weather, humidity and fine dust content in the air. However, the blood moon on May 26th will not turn very red. Carolin Liefke from the House of Astronomy in Heidelberg knows why:

There are two lunar eclipses this year, but both cannot be seen from Germany. The total lunar eclipse in May takes place during the day, and the moon is then below the horizon. The exciting part of the partial lunar eclipse in November also begins in the morning immediately after the moon has set, so we just miss it.

Carolin Liefke from the House of Astronomy

The total lunar eclipse will occur at 09:47 a.m. The penumbral eclipse on November 19th will also be hard to see. In general, the year 2021 should be rather unspectacular from an astronomical point of view, adds Liefke.