Super flower blood moon eclipse delights stargazers
(CNN) – Stargazers the world over were treated to a rare interstellar double feature this week as May’s flower super moon coincided with 2021′s first lunar eclipse.
The result was a large and vivid super blood moon.
The best views of the phenomenon were in the Pacific Rim and the western part of the Americas, but the eclipse was at least partially visible nearly everywhere in the world.
So, what makes a supermoon eclipse so special?
A super moon occurs when a full moon is at its closest orbital distance to the earth.
A lunar eclipse happens when the moon’s orbit brings it into the earth’s shadow.
But it’s the rare combination of these phenomena that results in a vivid, although brief, ruby red lunar light show, starring the biggest moon of the year.
This eclipse also held historical significance.
It occurred nearly 60 years to the day from the moment President John F. Kennedy championed America to explore the moon.
“This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” Kennedy told Congress.
NASA scientists say the anniversary brings their moon mission full circle.
“Its a wonderful way to mark not only the anniversary of the history, but also use it to look forward to the next era of lunar exploration that we are really on the doorstep of,” said NASA Project Specialist Noah Petro.
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