WASHINGTON: Sunday, January 20, 2019, will be spectacular, at least visually. No, it’s not the fight between President Trump and Speaker Pelosi. The Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse lunar phenomena will be stealing the headlines. At least for an hour or so.
The recent storms should have moved out enough that visibility across the Northern Hemisphere should be good. Beginning late at night on January 20, the lunar eclipse will be visible in the United States from coast to coast, with the best view on the eastern side of America. However, watchers across America, Canada, Britain will see the rare “super blood wolf moon eclipse.”
The total lunar eclipse will begin at 11:41 p.m. EST and last until 12:44 a.m. on Monday, January 21. The optimal viewing time is 12:16 a.m. EST on January 21.
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) January 14, 2019
This 2019 “super blood moon” will mark the final lunar eclipse visible to anyone on Earth until May 26, 2021. The rare lunar phenomenon is the concurrence of three separate phenomena — a lunar eclipse, a supermoon, a blood moon, and a wolf moon.
The moon is due to find itself engulfed in Earth’s shadow, casting a red glow over the night sky from January 20-21.
This will coincide with the time when the moon reaches its closest point to Earth, known as the “perigee,” according to NASA.
The first full moon of the new year.
Lunar Facts to Know:
- A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is positioned between the sun and the moon, casting the moon completely in the Earth’s shadow. This creates an organ-ish cast to the moon, giving it that “bloody” hue.
- Full lunar eclipses occur between two and four times a year.
- A supermoon occurs when the moon is within 90 percent of its closest possible distance to the Earth.
- According to EarthSky.org, the moon’s orbit will take it between 221,681 miles and 252,622 miles this year.On Jan. 20, the moon will be about 222,274 miles from Earth as a full moon.
The yearly “wolf moon” just so happens to coincide with a lunar eclipse and a supermoon.
Sunday night’s phenomenon will see the moon totally covered for just over an hour. However NASA reports the entirety of the eclipse is expected to last just under 3.5 hours.
The greatest eclipse is expected to happen at 12:13:27.1 a.m. ET.
This isn’t the first time in the recent past that such a phenomenon has appeared in the sky.
The first day of 2018 bore witness to a “wolf moon.” Later in the month, a supermoon coincided with a lunar eclipse that could be seen from western North America to eastern Asia. That marks the second supermoon of the month, and it was a blue one, NASA said at the time.
The event took on a unique name: the “super blue blood moon,” blue referring to the second supermoon in any one month.
The term “blood” comes from the way the sun’s light bends and refracts off the Earth’s atmosphere and onto the moon’s surface, taking on a red or copper hue. This phenomenon, called “Rayleigh scattering,” also creates the beautiful colors of our sunrises and sunsets.
It also makes the sky blue.
Blood Moon? Or Teal Moon?
As reported by ABC News, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California notes, however, that clouds, dust, ash and organic matter in Earth’s atmosphere may change the expected color of a super wolf blood moon.
“We’re not sure what color it will turn. It really depends on the earth’s atmosphere, whether we’ve had storms, volcanic eruptions, all sorts of things,” explained Dr. David Reitzel, an astronomer and lecturer at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
“Sometimes you can even get a turquoise color to it. Sometimes the light that goes through the very top part of our atmosphere, it can bend and hit the moon, [making it appear turquoise],” he added. “Look for this phenomenon at the beginning and end of totality.”
How to watch the Super Blood Wolf Moon eclipse”
If you do not want to brave the cold, you can watch the eclipse at the video link above or, a personal favorite resource at SLOOH. You need to sign in at Slooh, and then go to their observation room, but the commentary and quality is excellent.
We’ll have a series of 3 full supermoons on January 21, February 19 and March 21, 2019. Of these, the February 19 full moon will be the closest and largest full supermoon of 2019.
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