Chicago, IL

Chicago will get a peek at a partial lunar eclipse early Wednesday morning

Jennifer Geer

How much of the Super Flower Blood Moon will we see in northern Illinois?
(Yu Kato/Unsplash)

Early Wednesday morning, May 26th, the world is in for a rare night skies treat. A Super Flower Blood Moon will be visible in the western United States, Australia, East Asia, and western South America.

In parts of the world where it is visible, the moon will glow an eerie reddish, copper color for about 15 minutes during the eclipse.

Northern Illinois residents will not get to see the total eclipse or the reddish glow. However, a partial eclipse of the supermoon will be visible early Wednesday morning.
Stages of the eclipse on May 26, 2021NASA

What is a Super Flower Blood Moon?

It's a full moon appearing in May near the earth's orbit during a total lunar eclipse.

What makes it a supermoon?

The moon doesn't orbit the earth in a perfect circle. It's more of an oval shape. When the orbit of the moon grows closer to the earth, we get a supermoon. According to Adler Planetarium, a supermoon can seem 30% brighter and 14% larger than the usual moon.

What makes it a flower moon?

A flower moon has nothing to do with the appearance of the moon. A full moon in May is called a flower moon. The name came from the abundant flowers seen in May in the northern hemisphere.

What makes it a blood moon?

A blood moon is when the white moon turns a reddish color during a total eclipse.
Map showing where the total eclipse can be viewed in the U.S., at 11:11 UTC.(NASA)

What will we see in northern Illinois?

Unfortunately, Chicagoland residents won't see the total eclipse or the blood moon. But all is not lost. Northern Illinois will get a view of the supermoon and a partial eclipse.

What time should I look up at the sky in Chicago?

At 4:44 AM CST on Wednesday, May 26th, the partial eclipse in the Chicago area will begin. It will look like a darkening over the left half of the full moon.

By 5:26 AM, the moon will set over our area, and slightly over half of the moon will be darkened by the eclipse.

Once the moon sets, it's all over for northern Illinois. But in western parts of the world, the total eclipse will occur at 6:11 AM and will end by 6:25 AM.

The moon glows red during the total eclipse because it is shadowed by the earth while the sun is completely hidden.

Where is the best spot to view the partial eclipse in northern Illinois?

To see the full moon darken, skywatchers will need to look to the southwest. The moon will be low on the horizon, and just about to set, so you will need a view that is not obscured by buildings or trees.

Unfortunately, the weather may not cooperate and clouds may get in the way, as Chicago is due for possible rain Tuesday night and partly cloudy skies on Wednesday.

View the partial eclipse from the 360 Chicago Observation Deck

If you really want a great view, you can buy tickets for $11.99 on Eventbrite to 360 Chicago's Observation Deck on the 94th Floor.

"Join us for a partial lunar eclipse on Wednesday, May 26th. Doors open at 4:00 AM. The partial eclipse will begin at 4:44 AM. The max eclipse in Chicago will be at 5:23 AM. The "Super Blood Flower Moon" partial eclipse will be extra large in the sky near the horizon."

Can I live stream the blood moon eclipse?

Yes, the Griffith Observatory will host an online broadcast of the view, weather permitting, of the lunar eclipse from Los Angeles. Their stream begins at 1:45 AM PST (or 3:45 CST) and ends at 8:00 AM CST.

When will there be another lunar eclipse visible in northern Illinois?

If you miss this one, you will get another chance for a partial lunar eclipse on November 19th. However, only a sliver of the moon will remain out of the shadow, so it should look very close to a total eclipse.

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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area.

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