By Ian Firstenberg
The Bay Area was lucky enough to see an incredibly rare astronomical feat this week: a Super Flower Blood Moon. The trifecta occurs when there is a full moon, a lunar eclipse and a supermoon.
Since flowers traditionally bloom in May, the supermoon, which occurs when a full moon is closest to Earth during its orbit, this month is called a "Flower Moon." It is also referred to as a "Corn Planting Moon."
The supermoon Wednesday morning was the closest the moon will be to Earth all year.
Bay Area residents took to social media Wednesday and Thursday to share their photos of the event.
NASA indicates that the Blood Moon name comes from the reddish hue the covers the moon from Earth's perspective. This is largely because the sunlight bends in Earth's atmosphere during a lunar eclipse, coloring the moon only with the edges of the light and giving it a blood red color.
The last Blood Moon that hit the Bay Area was a Wolf Blood Moon in late January of 2019. Images from that event appear similar to Wednesday's event but a Wolf Moon occurs in January rather than May. The name is reportedly drawn from the Old Farmer's Almanac and may date back to Indigenous names for such an event.
According to NASA, the next blood moon will likely be a Flower Blood Moon next year. The agency's estimates indicate that May 16, 2022 will feature another Blood Moon for the Americas.