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Total eclipse of the moon coming for skywatchers next week

The West coast of the U.S. will have a better vantage, but Floridians can set their alarm clocks for a brief view next Wednesday.
This lunar eclipse with a supermoon in 2018 is shown as it sets over the Gulf of Mexico off Clearwater Beach by Pier 60. On Wednesday morning May 26,  a lunar eclipse will occur when the Earth is between the full moon and the sun. But it will be a brief site on the East coast.
This lunar eclipse with a supermoon in 2018 is shown as it sets over the Gulf of Mexico off Clearwater Beach by Pier 60. On Wednesday morning May 26, a lunar eclipse will occur when the Earth is between the full moon and the sun. But it will be a brief site on the East coast. [ JIM DAMASKE | Tampa Bay Times (2018) ]
Published May 18
Updated May 18

Skywatchers are getting excited about the May 26 total lunar eclipse, also called a blood moon for its reddish hue. Unfortunately, the West coast of the United States will have a better view of the year’s biggest sky spectacle than Floridians, according to astronomers.

Set your alarm clock for 5:30 a.m. May 26, said Craig Joseph, head of the St. Petersburg College Planetarium. A full “super moon” will brighten the night sky, and soon after a lunar eclipse will occur when the Earth is between the full moon and the sun.

The Earth’s shadow will cover the moon, which often brings on a rust color, hence the “blood” moon nickname.

LUIS SANTANA  |   Times

The total lunar eclipse, visible from Brandon in 2015 is caused when the Earth’s shadow will cover the moon, which often brings on a rust color, hence the “blood” moon nickname.
LUIS SANTANA | Times The total lunar eclipse, visible from Brandon in 2015 is caused when the Earth’s shadow will cover the moon, which often brings on a rust color, hence the “blood” moon nickname. [ LUIS SANTANA | TIMES | Tampa Bay Times (2015) ]

The western states will have the best view of the eclipse, while those in the central U.S. will see a partial lunar eclipse just before the moon sets below the horizon, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.

For Floridians, according to Joseph, about 5:47 a.m., you will first start to see the moon getting overshadowed. It will be low in the sky to the west.

“It will look like a bite taken out of a cookie,” Joseph said. And it will last for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Joseph said there will be another total lunar eclipse about this same time next year, and we will have a great view of it.