How to see the full flower supermoon in Calgary

·2 min read
A photo of a total eclipse of the moon on Dec. 20, 2010.   (Photo by Alan Dyer - image credit)
A photo of a total eclipse of the moon on Dec. 20, 2010. (Photo by Alan Dyer - image credit)

If the clouds clear, stargazers could be in for a treat Sunday night.

The full flower supermoon total lunar eclipse is expected to peak at 10:11 p.m. MST and end at 10:53 p.m.

Viewers in Alberta won't see the first stages of the eclipse, but should be able see it in totality starting at 9:29 p.m.

This is the first total lunar eclipse of 2022 and the first since last May. A lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes through Earth's shadow.

Neel Roberts, a Calgary astronomer with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, said that every full moon has a name and this one is called the "full flower."

The supermoon classification means "it's going to be bigger than usual," he added.

The moon will appear to have a blood red shade, which is caused by refraction.

"It's because what you're seeing is the shadow of the earth cast on to the moon," said Roberts.

"This one is a good size. And actually, for Alberta, it's even better because the moon is actually coming up in eclipse, so you will actually get to see the best part without having to wait for it to go in eclipse."

Roberts adds that this one is "worth keeping the kids up for" because the next lunar eclipse won't happen until November at around 4 a.m.

As of Sunday afternoon, Environment Canada's hourly forecast says it will be mainly cloudy in the evening, which is not ideal for viewing the eclipse.

However, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is hosting events across the city with lots of equipment available to make it a bit easier to see the moon.

Viewings are taking place at the Rothney Observatory, The Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area, Seton Chapel, North Glenmore Park Parking Lot A and at Nose Hill Park.

Roberts recommends dressing in warm clothing.

"When the sun goes down, [the temperature] really drops. And especially if you got the little ones outside, they're going to be out there for a couple of hours," he said.

"So dress like it's winter."

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