Stunning 'blood flower' supermoon rises with rare lunar eclipse

WATCH: Stunning 'blood flower' supermoon rises with rare lunar eclipse

The sun, the Earth, the moon and the calendar lined up just right on Wednesday when a rare total lunar eclipse coincided with a so-called “flower” supermoon in the early morning sky.

The full moon loomed “super” large on Wednesday morning, as its oval-shaped orbit brought it closer to our planet than at any other point this year. That made it appear seven per cent brighter and 15 per cent larger than usual.

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The moon also took on a “bloody” appearance with the first total lunar eclipse in over two years. The eclipse played out over three hours but the total eclipse lasted only about 15 minutes, during which the Earth cast a red shadow onto the moon.

The lunar eclipse progresses is seen behind a ferris wheel over Santa Monica Beach in Santa Monica, Calif., Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

The lunar eclipse progresses is seen behind a ferris wheel over Santa Monica Beach in Santa Monica, Calif., Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Lunar eclipses occur when the Earth lines up between the sun and moon, blocking and filtering the sunlight that falls on the lunar surface. The Earth can’t block out the sun’s rays entirely, but our planet’s atmosphere does warp that light enough to make it appear red.

The eclipse was visible in most parts of the world, and many skywatchers were eager to share their photos of it on Wednesday morning.

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The first full moon in May is known as the “flower moon,” according to long-running North American tradition. The nickname is derived from the spring flowers, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

The moon sets behind the Montevideo port, in Uruguay, Wednesday, May 26, 2021, during a lunar eclipse, also known as a super blood moon.

The moon sets behind the Montevideo port, in Uruguay, Wednesday, May 26, 2021, during a lunar eclipse, also known as a super blood moon.

AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico

Full moons in other months are named for animals, weather and other nature-related concepts. For example, June has a “strawberry” moon, while September has a “harvest” moon and December has a “cold” moon.

The moon is partially covered by buildings in Brasilia, Brazil, at the start of a total lunar eclipse early Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

The moon is partially covered by buildings in Brasilia, Brazil, at the start of a total lunar eclipse early Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

The eclipse and the full supermoon happened on Wednesday morning before dawn, but the moon will still look large and nearly full on Wednesday night.

With files from Reuters

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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