A super flower blood moon lunar eclipse is coming this weekend, but it might be hard to spot in the Southern Interior.
Ken Tapping, an astronomer with the National Research Council's Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory near Penticton, says the problem is the moon rises quite late here this time of year.
The eclipse begins shortly before 7:30 p.m. on Sunday night, but the moon doesn’t rise until around 9 p.m.
“That’s assuming a flat horizon, and of course, we don’t have flat horizons around here,” explains Tapping. “The moon is already going to be totally eclipsed.”
However, you might be able to glimpse the end of the celestial event.
“It’s worth keeping an eye on the southeastern horizon starting off at around say 9:30 and looking every few minutes until you actually see something, until around 10 something. And then after that, it’s probably going to be all over,” he notes.
It will be the first lunar eclipse of 2022 and will be fully or partially visible in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Antarctica and the east Pacific.
The blood moon refers to the red colour of the moon at the time of the eclipse. It’s also known by other names this time of year, including the flower moon, milk moon or hare moon.
Tapping says the hare reference brings back memories of his younger days in England.
“I was doing observations at an observatory in the southwest of England in an area surrounded by thatched cottages and country pubs. In the spring we would go on the roof of the control building and watch the hares going absolutely bananas. Chasing backwards and forwards at high speed across the field, chasing each other, jumping in the air and so on. It was incredible.
“So we were seeing genuine March hares.”
The only other lunar eclipse of the year will be on November 8 and will be visible at least partially from Asia, Australia, North America, parts of northern and eastern Europe, the Arctic and most of South America, according to TimeandDate.com.