INDIA: During a total Lunar Eclipse, the full moon is closest to the Earth and looks larger in the sky. It is also known as a Blood Super Moon eclipse, with colours ranging from orange or red to brown. This year a total lunar eclipse will be visible on 26 May lasting for about 14 minutes 30 seconds from southern and eastern Asia, South America, Australia, and the western half of North America.
Blood super moon eclipse
For a full lunar eclipse to occur, the sun, earth, and moon have to come in a straight line. The earth comes between the sun and the moon, and the sunlight gets obstructed and does not reach the moon and the moon appears dark. The effect of the sunlight on the earth’s atmosphere makes the moon appear in a different colour. These total lunar eclipses are also known as Blood Moons because of the reddish texture of the Full Moon during an eclipse. It is also called Flower Moon in Britain because flowers start to bloom in the month of May. This year, the Blood Moon will be clearly in the Americas, Australia, western parts of South America, and Southeast Asia.
Special tourism offering
Australia’s national airlines recently announced its latest offering in form of a series of special flights launched specially for the occasion. On Wednesday, May 26, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be deployed for a one-off Sydney to Sydney service, allowing a limited number of passengers to enjoy a closer viewing of the upcoming super moon. Adding to the excitement will be a special inflight menu, with cosmic cocktails and supermoon-themed cakes to mark the occasion.
According to the airline, it will be the second and last supermoon for 2021. Dr. Vanessa Moss, an astronomer with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, will work with the pilots to design the optimal flight path over the Pacific Ocean and join the flight to provide insights into the super moon and all things space-related.
Qantas’s Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully said in a statement, “We are very excited to now be doing a super moon scenic flight and the 787 has the largest windows of any passenger aircraft so it’s ideal for moon gazing. We think this flight has great appeal for anyone with a passion for astronomy, science, space photography, aviation, or just keen to do something a little ‘out of this world’.”
The three-hour flight will depart from Sydney and begin with a scenic flyover of Sydney Harbour before climbing above any potential cloud cover and atmosphere pollution to a cruising altitude of 43,000 feet, which is the maximum cruising altitude of a Dreamline, for the super moon and full lunar eclipse viewing. The total lunar eclipse is forecast to occur between 9:11 pm and 9:25 pm AEST on May 26, with the moon coming closest to the Earth earlier in the day.
Just over 100 seats will go on sale via Qantas at midday on Wednesday, May 12, with fares starting from A$499 for the economy, A$899 for premium economy, and A$1,499 for business.