SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — While most people go about their daily routines, it is sometimes easy to forget that nature is always putting on a show.
Sometimes it is a special presentation that only comes around every few years, if even that; that will be the case Wednesday morning.
“You either need to stay up really late or get up extra early. Or maybe you’re an early bird and you’ll be up anyway,” said Dr. Kyle Watters. “In which case, go take a peek outside and look at the moon.”
Watters teaches astronomy at Sacramento State and is the director of the on-campus planetarium. For now, the campus is still in distance-learning mode.
Otherwise, Watters would be there at 4 a.m. Wednesday when the Earth, moon and sun put on their special presentation.
“Most astronomers would just call this a total lunar eclipse. But if you really want to have some fun, yeah, this is a Super Flower Blood Moon,” Watters said.
It is super because the moon will be relatively close to the Earth in its elliptical orbit, making it appear larger than normal.
A full moon at this point in the calendar traditionally has flower in its name.
“In reference to the flowers that are hopefully blooming in the month of May,” Watters explained.
Shortly after 4 a.m. from the West Coast’s perspective, the moon will be in total eclipse.
“Which means the moon is going to come behind planet Earth and our shadow from Earth is going to kind of block out the light from the sun,” Watters said. “Except we can’t completely block it out because of our atmosphere. So, some of the sunlight will kind of bend or refract through the Earth’s atmosphere and will still make it to the moon.”
The light that makes it to the moon will be reddish in color, and that is why it has blood in its name: Super Flower Blood Moon eclipse.
“You always get some sunlight coming through the Earth’s atmosphere. The Earth is incapable of completely blocking the light,” Watters said.
Viewers will need a relatively unobstructed view of the western sky to see the phenomena just before the moon disappears under the morning horizon.
“But I mean it’s great that you don’t have to travel anywhere special. Just step outside, as long as we don’t have clouds. Find that full moon, and enjoy the view,” Watters said.