As the moon inches closest to Earth in its elliptical orbit and blocks the sun, stargazers around the world will be over the moon watching the Super Flower Blood Moon today, May 26, starting at 7:11 a.m. (Eastern Time).
In the Philippines, our date with the supermoon comes at around 7 p.m. This super lunar spectacle is visible to the human eye, but it’ll be doubly fun to watch it with binoculars or a telescope.
After all, you will probably never see a full moon like this (called flower moon because flowers bloom in May) turning blood red (for about 14 minutes, so astrologers tell us) as the moon aligns with the sun and Earth, and passes into the Earth’s umbra (shadow). A supermoon and total lunar eclipse will be occurring at the same time. It will be the first total lunar eclipse since 2019.
According to NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the US), the closest full moon to Earth since January 26, 1948 was the supermoon of Nov. 14, 2016. This will not likely be surpassed until Nov. 28, 2034.
Super close to Earth
The word “supermoon” was coined by American astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 to describe both a full moon and a new moon occurring at or near (within 10% of) perigee (the moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit).
According to this original definition, the moon has to come 90% of its closest approach to Earth to be called a supermoon. Thus, any full or new moon that comes to or within 361,766 km of our planet, as measured from the centers of the moon and Earth, can be called a supermoon.
Feng shui expert Marites Allen takes a good look at the supermoon phenomenon: “Despite what the skeptics say, ancient civilizations suggest that moon phases, especially in the case of the May 26 Supermoon, may have an effect on humans, animals, and other living things. If you talk about the usual moon phases, like whether there’s a full moon, they could have an effect on human behavior.
“The word lunar is associated with the word lunacy, so at this time, one may exhibit strange behavior or attitude. One may not be able to sleep well or even sleepwalk. More people will also be wide awake at this time. During this pandemic, some are already going through mental and health issues. The occurrence of the supermoon could bring about heightened emotions, like couples getting into intense fights. It could more or less amplify personal traits. On the other hand, it could bring clarity, opening our minds to new beginnings, new hopes, be it for our career, family, or personal issues.”
Many moons ago
Marites fondly recalls, “Many, many years ago, when I was about eight or nine years old, my grandmother would tell me to stay away from exposing myself for a long time whenever there was a lunar eclipse. That sort of carried on with me to this day. I know there are some people who bask in the moon to perhaps re-energize their body or something, but there’s been no scientific proof it can make one younger, stronger or the like.”
She elaborates, “The moon continuously waxes and wanes. The moon phases offer changes every month. The whole world has changed. We should be able to accept change, whether personally or professionally. Let’s not wait for the next supermoon as we may no longer be around to enjoy that day.”
You may moved by the classic ‘40s song Full Moon and Empty Arms, but Marites says “No” to getting married at this time.
However, she confesses, “There was one moment in my life when I did some ritual on a full moon day, to find my true love. I threw a red rose from my window at the stroke of midnight on that one full moon night, believing I would see in the moon the shadow of the man who would pick up that red rose.”
The love-struck 15-year-old Marites waited and waited, but no shadow appeared. “Looking back, I can only smile and laugh at myself, and I dare not share this story with my two daughters who are taking up Medicine here in London as they will surely laugh at their crazy mom.”
Will babies born during a supermoon be super babies?
“Shall we do a study?” Marites quickly replies. “Maybe they will have special characteristics, but it could go both ways, super good or not so. Human intervention and prayers will always come into play and make a difference in how a child will be groomed later in life.”
Should we start a business during a supermoon?
“I won’t,” Marites firmly declares, “but I would perhaps at least enter into a verbal handshake agreement.”
To all the super fans of supermoons, Marites asserts, “Regardless of who we are, it’s always fascinating to see these occurrences in our modern times and enjoy their beauty in real time. What makes it special is that it provides us with more understanding of the astronomy side of it, showing us the importance of co-existing with our fellowmen, with nature and the universe around us.”
Tonight’s supermoon kicks off a series of four big lunar eclipses in two years—three of them total while one is deep partial, but so deep it might as well be total.
Tonight’s the night to just gaze at the clear night sky and behold a supermoon with stars in our eyes!