Total lunar eclipse of ‘Super Flower Blood’ moon lasting 85 minutes starts Sunday

ST. GEORGE —  The first lunar eclipse of the year will take place Sunday night and continue into the early morning hours of Monday across Southern Utah, a stellar treat as the lunar nightlight takes on a rosy glow.

Stock image | Photo by KDShutterman/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

This eclipse starting on Sunday will be the first of two this year and the next one is slated to take place on Nov. 8, an autumn show that will be visible to sky watchers around half of the globe, according to

This year’s event is a double feature. The lunar orb is not only a supermoon — it appears slightly larger and brighter than usual since it is at its closest point to Earth in its orbit, known as perigee — and it also is a blood moon — thanks to a lunar eclipse, according to NASA.

First, it’s a total lunar eclipse

This eclipse is a total lunar eclipse, a celestial phenomenon that occurs when the moon’s orbit intersects with Earth’s shadow, which occurs when Earth moves between the Sun and the Moon, blocking any direct sunlight to shine on the cratered face of the moon.

Instead of making the moon disappear, however, some sunlight escapes around the periphery of the Earth and is cast toward the lunar surface.

The moon and the Sun are also on opposites sides of the Earth during a total lunar eclipse, which can only happen during a full moon, as opposed to a partial eclipse, which is when only part of Earth’s shadow covers the moon.

The last total lunar eclipse occurred May 26, 2021.

‘Blood moon’

“Blood moon” is another name for the moon during a total lunar eclipse. And this blood moon will be visible amid a starry night in the constellation of Libra and next to an orange star – Antares – that will be visible to the lower left of the moon.

Stock image | Photo by Korbinian Mueller/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

Once totality begins, which will last for 84 minutes as the moon travels through the southern half of Earth’s shadow, the moon will appear fairly dark, and then will take on a faint, reddish glow, as red wavelengths of sunlight filter through Earth’s atmosphere onto the moon’s surface.

Moreover, the more dust or clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere at the time of the eclipse, the redder the moon will appear.

It’s also a ‘flower moon’ 

May’s full Moon is the first supermoon of the year, and is also a Flower Moon, since May is the month that flowers spring up across the continent. Other names for this month’s moon is the Budding Moon and the Frog Moon, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. 

And a deep eclipse 

This total eclipse is central – meaning the moon passes centrally through the axis of Earth’s dark umbral shadow. Because they are so deep, this eclipse will last longer – roughly 85 minutes.

Lunar eclipse viewing in Southern Utah – all times in MDT

  • Penumbral eclipse begins on Sunday at 7:32 p.m., but will not be visible from Southern Utah.
  • Partial eclipse begins at 8:27 p.m., and may be visible as it touches the horizon
  • The total lunar eclipse, begins, when the moon is engulfed in Earth’s shadow, at 9:29 p.m., and will be visible from Southern Utah, weather permitting.
  • Maximum eclipse can be seen at 10:11 p.m.
  • Full eclipse ends at 10:53 p.m.
  • Partial eclipse ends at 11:55 p.m.
  • Penumbral eclipse ends at 12:50 p.m.

Eclipses fun facts

“An eclipse always involves the alignment of three celestial bodies in a gravitational system where there is a straight-line configuration, something the Greeks called ‘syzygy,’ which means ‘yoked together,'” according to Go Science Go.

NASA is live-streaming lunar eclipse that begins on May 15, 2022 | Image courtesy of NASA, St. George News


A solar eclipse is always paired with a lunar eclipse, because during the solar eclipse, where the moon is in the middle, a new moon crosses the ecliptic from south to north.  But a half orbit earlier, the full moon crosses at the opposite node, where Earth is in the middle, from north to south, encountering the Earth’s shadow along the way.  So a solar eclipse is always preceded by a lunar eclipse, Britannica says.

The eclipse this weekend can be viewed in real time as NASA will be live-streaming the event from various locations.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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