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This weekend’s total lunar eclipse is worth your time

Lunar phases come and go, but the one passing through Earth’s shadow this weekend will take its time in the limelight. From Sunday evening to early Monday, our pearly satellite will lapse into a total lunar eclipse, as well as its “super flower blood moon” phase. The first hints of darkness will appear on its…

Lunar phase come to , but it will be the one that passes through Earth’s shadow this weekend.

From Sunday evening through Monday morning, our pearly satellite will lapse into a total moon eclipse , along with its “superflower blood moon” phase. The first hints of darkness will appear on its surface around 10 p.m. Eastern on May 15. The totality part, when the moon is completely overshadowed, will last from about 11: 30 p.m. Eastern on May 15 to 1 a.m. Eastern on May 16.

Total lunar eclipses are when the sun, earth, and moon meet in a straight line. They can be seen in certain regions twice a year. The Western Hemisphere will glimpse another one in November 2022–but the eclipse this weekend overlaps with maximum wax, which upgrades it to a blood moon (or what PopSci calls “the most metal moon”). The moon will glow like a penny as it moves through Earth’s shadow. The moon will appear in the sky throughout the event and be adequately bloody for at most half.

[Related: A total solar eclipse bathed Antarctica in darkness]

The “super flower” part of this phenomenon is less scientific. A super moon refers to when the satellite’s orbit brings it closer to Earth, making it seem like it’s hanging larger in the heavens. The flower is just a seasonal label for the peak of the lunar cycle in May.

All this makes the eclipse virtually impossible to miss, even with the naked eye. (A telescope or spotting scope will make for more comfortable viewing, but unlike in a total solar eclipse, you don’t have to protect your sight.) If you can’t pop outside for the late-night special, NASA will be live streaming the phenomenon from several cities in North America, Chile, and Italy. Or just check your social media feeds in the morning for the photos and time lapses.

In terms of astronomy, 2022 has been all about the moonshots. As NASA readies its lunar rocket for the Artemis I mission, other scientists have been digging into rock and soil samples from the Earth’s pock-marked companion. Earlier this m

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