What Is A Flower Moon?
Let's start off with the basics—what is a flower moon? Aside from its sweet name, the concept of a 'flower moon' is less literal than we'd hoped. What some astrological novices may not know is that each month of the year is assigned a different name for the lunar month in which it sits. And each name was created from ancient cultures who pioneered the lunar calendar, naming each moon after flora, fauna and natural elements that corrolate to the same time.
Much like starsigns, each month is known for a certain moon: January is the Wolf Moon; February is the Snow Moon and March is the Worm Moon. As the weather begins to warm up for the Northern Hempisphere so do the names. April is the Pink Moon, May is the Flower Moon, June is the Strawberry Moon and July is the Buck. And as the seasons start to enter the chilly grasps of Autumn, September becomes the Buck Moon, October is the Hunter's Moon, November is the Beaver Moon and finally, December is the Cold Moon.
What Is A Super Blood Moon?
Technically known as a perigee-syzygy—perigee is when the moon is closest to earth and syzygy is when the sun, moon, and earth are all aligned—a standard supermoon usually graces our skies a few times a year, occasionally holding special significance thanks to a holiday or a season.
But a super blood moon, you ask? Well, it's not quite as horrific as it sounds. The term 'blood moon' was originally created by certain sects of Christian prophecy to describe a total lunar eclipse which, you guessed it, makes the moon shine a rather terrifying shade of blood red. As for why our beloved moon appears red during a lunar eclipse, it's because of the way that light passes through the Earth’s atmosphere. Thanks to two Christian priests, John Hagee and Mark Blitz, the term was first used due to the pair believing it signalled the end of the world, which it's easy to see why.
Not only does the Super Blood Moon occur during a total lunar eclipse, but for it to be crowned as a 'supermoon', it has to be at its closest proximity to Earth, specifically within 361,766 kilometres of our planet.
How To See May's 2021 Supermoon In Australia
As many of us are well aware, each hemisphere—in fact, each country—will see the ominous super blood flower moon at different times. Thanks to Earth's spherical stature, those on the upper half of the globe, i.e. the United States, will get to witness the lunar event before Australia.
But fret not, because our chance to view the apocalyptic-looking masterpiece isn't too far behind. Depending on how cloudy or rain-riddled May 26 is, our chances of seeing the super blood flower moon down under is high.
As per Gizmodo, the peak viewing time for the event is at 9:18pm, but you best be on time because it will only last for 15 minutes.
If you're keen to witness the moon moment, your best bet is to find a remote location. But of course, living in a big city can make that impossible. If that's the case, then head to the highest point in your house, and even with slight light pollution, a view of the super blood flower moon should be possible.
Below are the best times to witness the full cycle of the Super Blood Flower Moon in all of its gory glory.
Penumbral Eclipse begins: 26 May at 6:47:39 pm AEST
Partial Eclipse begins: 26 May at 7:44:58 pm
Full Eclipse begins: 26 May at 9:11:26 pm
Maximum Eclipse: 26 May at 9:18:42 pm
Full Eclipse ends: 26 May at 9:25:54 pm
Partial Eclipse ends: 26 May at 10:52:23 pm
Penumbral Eclipse ends: 26 May at 11:49:44 pm