By Jill Brooke
Did you hear that there will be a “Flower Moon” part of a celestial spectacle taking place before dawn on Wednesday morning?
According to NASA, and the Farmer’s Almanac, skywatchers are in for a treat because there will also be a simultaneous lunar eclipse, full moon and a super moon at the same time. The total lunar eclipse will be the first to occur with a supermoon in nearly six years.
The U.S. space agency, NASA said, “Compared to other Full Moons in 2021, the Flower Moon will have the nearest approach to Earth, making it appear as the closest and largest Full moon of the year.”So why is it called a “Flower Moon?”
The full moon in May has always been referred to as the Flower Moon because Native American tribes recognized that once the lunar light reached the sky, flowers would soon bloom in abundance.
Yes, this is the full moon of May when blooms blossom in explosions of beautiful color.
According to the trusty Farmer’s Almanac, it was also referred to as the “Month of Flowers” by Jonathan Carver in his 1798 publication, Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America: Carver stayed with the Naudowessie during his expedition covering the Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin and Minnesota areas.
Poet Henry David Thoreau referenced the Flower Moon and Carver when he wrote about Native Americans.
The term “supermoon” was coined by the astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 and refers to either a new or full moon that occurs within 90% of perigee, its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit. Under this definition, in a typical year, there can be three or four full supermoons in a row.
As Gordon Johnston wrote for Nasa Science, “For a strip running through parts of the Americas, if you are lucky enough to have clear skies and a clear view of the horizon for both the rising Sun and the setting Moon, you can get a real sense of your place in this alignment. You can see the sunrise, then turn 180 degrees to see the curved shadow of the round Earth starting to fall across the edge of the Moon as the Moon sets.”
We of course love the name. The Super Flower Blood Moon. Are you going to try to see it?