Vanishing Total Lunar Eclipse Alberta Tue night May 25 – Wed morning May 26, 2021

There will be no blood, and likely no copper.

Alberta lies in the gray zone between nothing for Saskatchewan eastward and a delightful copper event for the Okanagan westward. The media is promoting the maximum of what could happen in the Pacific – it does not apply to Alberta – bad timing, that’s all. Yet I can guarantee an uplifting experience: a majestic 90 minute procession of the Moon entering the Earth’s shadow while the dawn chorus of birdsong and the coming of the day boost our spirits most wonderfully! Use binoculars if you have them, no telescope needed.

Here’s the Alberta situation: Totality begins minutes before sunrise, when the sky is alight – it’s why stars disappear – they’re still there, just that the sky is brighter. The following two images have nearly equal settings, but in fact the eclipse one at right has a higher ISO making it twice is twice as bright as it should be in comparison. It’s still faint! The image on the left (about 10 minutes before sunrise last April 26th) has a normal Moon that is so bright relative to the sky it blows out. 

When combined, the eclipsed Moon nearly disappears! Can you see it to the right of the normal Moon? Not only is the eclipsed Moon exaggerated to make it visible, it will be fainter yet because of the dimming effect of the atmosphere has when objects shine along a shallow path. The reality is that it will be tougher than this.

The Moon is only subtly bigger than usual, and it’s lower left will show a smoky veil just before the first bite of the shadow at 3:45 am MDT (Alberta time). The bite is not small like you would see in a child’s drawing, but a wide curved wall. If you look every 15 minutes the change will be very noticeable.

The Moon will look like this at about 4:10 am MDT

Totality begins at 5:11 am MDT.
Sunrise for Edmonton 5:17 am; for Calgary 5:32

Next lunar eclipse: Nov 19, 2021 1 am; a very deep partial, copper glow very likely.
Next total lunar: May 15, 2022 9:28-10:55 pm Sunset: 21:34. The rise will be invisible, but the orange to deep pink will become increasingly obvious as the evening progresses.