Chicagoans could have an amazing sight this weekend as a total lunar eclipse takes place on Sunday, but clouds could get in the way.
According to the Adler Planetarium, a Flower Moon will pass through Earth’s shadow at 8:32 p.m. Sunday to create a total lunar eclipse.
“A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon is completely engulfed by Earth’s shadow,” Adler Planetarium wrote online. “Once totality begins, the Moon may appear reddish as our atmosphere scatters bluer rays of sunlight, much like the Sun appears reddish just before sunset.”
The May Flower Moon is also called the Blood Moon by some due to the red color it gives off. However, it’s not unique to this year as the moon typically appears red during a lunar eclipse, the planetarium wrote.
This interactive map shows which stage of the eclipse will be visible from your location.
The planetarium noted that the eclipse will begin at 8:32 p.m., then transition to a partial eclipse at 9:27 p.m. Totality should start at 10:29 p.m. and end at 11:53 p.m. The partial lunar eclipse will then end at 12:55 p.m. on May 16.
According to Northwestern University, which plans to hold a public event around the eclipse at its Evanston campus, such moments are “pretty rare”.
“It’s a chance to see how the Earth, moon and sun are all connected,” said Michael Smutko, director of the Dearborn Observatory and professor of physics and astronomy at Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in Northwestern, in a statement. “The three must line up to form a straight line, so that Earth’s shadow completely envelops the moon, for a total lunar eclipse.”
On Saturday, the NBC 5 Storm team predicted Sunday will be mostly cloudy with a chance of rain and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. High temperatures will likely be in the mid 70s.
But for those who miss it, another total lunar eclipse should be visible from Chicago on November 8.
In about two years, a total solar eclipse will also be visible from Illinois.
On April 8, 2024, the event will be the last total solar eclipse visible from the United States until 2045.
More than 31 million people in 13 states — including Illinois — live in “the path of totality” for the event — meaning those locations will see 100% totality.
According to the nationalclipse.com site, in Illinois, the state of totality will begin on April 8, 2024 at 1:58 p.m. and end at 2:06 p.m.