Pacific residents ready for super moon eclipse

 Sylvie Claire / May 25, 2021

Astronomers in the Pacific region will be looking to the sky Wednesday night to see a reddish-colored supermoon during a total eclipse, the first total lunar eclipse in two years.


This exceptional show will occur when the moon is at its perigee, the closest point to the Earth. From the Pacific to the West of North America, amateurs will be able to discover this enormous red-orange moon.  This exceptional event will occur between 11:11 and 11:25 GMT, that is to say in the evening in Sydney and before dawn in Los Angeles, that is to say at the moment when the Moon will be in the shadow of the Earth.  At this time, the color of the lunar star will darken to become red, reminding the glow at the time of sunrise or sunset.   Unlike a solar eclipse, this phenomenon does not present any danger for the sight. This eclipse will be different because it coincides with a supermoon, that is to say that the full moon will appear relatively larger than average because it will be quite close to the Earth, at 358,000 km, which is why it is called a supermoon. At this time, the moon appears 30% brighter and 14% larger than at its farthest point.


It's very important, said Andrew Jacobs, curator of astronomy at the Sydney Observatory, who will be bringing together amateurs and experts for an evening event. I expect a clear night, he added.The event will be broadcast live and 20,000 people have already registered. For those who want to enjoy the amazing show, Jacobs says the view will be most stunning in Australia, New Zealand and much of the Pacific. The American continent will be able to observe it early in the morning but (they) won't necessarily see all parts of the eclipse.  This super Moon, is not expected to be observable from Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In history, eclipses, whether lunar or solar, were a bad omen, especially among the Incas.


Some Australian Aboriginal communities saw it as a sign that someone who had left had been injured or killed. Those who will miss Wednesday's show will have to wait until 2033 to witness the next Blood Moon, as the Americans call it.

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