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'Blood Flower' Eclipse Will Be Visible Just Before Sunrise Wednesday

Griffith Observatory
An animation shows the moon setting on the horizon as it's expected to look after the eclipse.

A total lunar eclipse this week promises to be visually stunning.

A lunar eclipse happens when the earth gets between the sun and the moon and creates a shadow that the moon passes through.

Oakleaf High School physics teacher and hobbyist astronomer Tom Webber – WJCT News’ Sky Guy – said this week’s eclipse has a pretty cool name, too: the Super Blood Flower Moon.

“It’s flower because the full moon in May is called the Flower Moon for obvious reasons. April showers May flowers, you know,” he said.

Webber said a super full moon is closer to the Earth, so it looks bigger and a lot brighter.  And unlike a solar eclipse that can turn day to night, “The moon doesn't disappear, it becomes a coppery red color. Earth's atmosphere acts like a prism and refracts the red light into our shadow cone and makes the moon turn a blood red, and we all know the old ancient stories and mythologies of people being scared when the moon turned to blood.”

The Super Blood Flower Moon eclipse will be visible in Florida for only about 15 minutes just before sunrise early Wednesday. Sunrise in Jacksonville is at about 6:30 a.m.

If you can’t get outside (or if it’s too cloudy), you can watch a live stream of the roughly four-hour-long eclipse from Los Angeles’ Griffith Observatory beginning at 4:45 a.m. EST.


Cyd Hoskinson began working at WJCT on Valentine’s Day 2011.