Photo: A total lunar eclipse that occurred in July of 2018 | ESO
A total lunar eclipse will occur on May 26, 2021. Read on to learn more about the conditions that create total lunar eclipses, what makes this month’s eclipse extra special, and how to view it from your own backyard!
What is a Total Lunar Eclipse?
Lunar eclipses occur only when the Moon is full, whereas solar eclipses take place only when the Moon is new. A full Moon happens when it is opposite the Sun, and Earth is in between the two bodies. Thus, when the Moon is full, it will be rising on the eastern horizon as the Sun is setting on the western horizon. The alignment of the three bodies is usually slightly imperfect, but everyone so often, they line up in a way that causes the Earth to block the Sun’s light from reaching the moon. When the Moon passes through Earth’s shadow, it appears darker when viewed from Earth’s surface. This darker hue can sometimes take on a reddish-orange color, which is why total lunar eclipses are sometimes referred to as “Blood Moons.” The deeper into the shadow the Moon moves, the greater ...