WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Get up before dawn to see supermoon eclipse Wednesday morning

Posted May 23, 2021 4:13 p.m. EDT
Updated May 25, 2021 1:27 p.m. EDT

The beginning of the lunar eclipse on May 26, 2021 will be visible as Earth's shadow is cast across the Moon. (Image credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio.)

The Moon will pass through Earth's shadow before sunrise on Wednesday, May 26. The partial eclipse begins at 4:47 a.m. and will be visible until moonset for much of the central and eastern United States, while a total eclipse will be visible from more western states.

How to see it

The beginning of the lunar eclipse on May 26, 2021 will be visible from Raleigh

Look for the Moon near the western horizon, the clearer your horizon is of trees and buildings, the more of the eclipse you will see. You may notice a slight darkening as the Moon passes through the Earth's penumbral, or brighter, shadow beginning before 5 a.m.

The partial eclipse begins at 5:44 a.m and is visible until moonset.

  • 4:47 a.m. EDT penumbral eclipse begins
  • 5:44 a.m. EDT umbral eclipse begins
  • 6:05 a.m. EDT moonset in Raleigh

Visibility of the May 26, 2021 Lunar Eclipse

Super Flower Moon Total Lunar Eclipse?

This is being called the super flower Moon eclipse.

The May full moon is traditionally known as the flower moon, from the name Algonquin Native American peoples used in reference to abundant flowers blooming across their lands across the northern US and Canada.

May's full moon is also a supermoon, the second or third of the year depending on who you ask, because it reaches full phase a little more than 9 hours after it reaches perigee, the closest point in its orbit.

You may have also heard that this will be the biggest supermoon of the year, while technically true, it won't be noticeable. The Moon will be about 100 miles closer to Earth when it turns full on Wednesday, but this increases its apparent size in the sky only by 0.05%.

Next eclipses

A partial solar eclipse will be visible from the Carolinas north and a line extending diagonally east to the Dakotas at sunrise on June 10, 2021

A partial, just shy of total, lunar eclipse will be visible in the early hours of November 19, 2021. more than 97% of the Moon will be in Earth's shadow.

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