Published: Mon, January 21, 2019
Sci-tech | By Laverne Osborne

Don’t Miss the "Super Blood Wolf Moon" Eclipse Tonight

Don’t Miss the

Total lunar eclipses happen when the sun, Earth and the moon are in alignment and the full moon passes through Earth's shadow.

Coincidentally, at the same time the moon will appear bigger and brighter due to being slightly closer to Earth than usual, combining the Blood Moon with a Supermoon.

The entire eclipse will be visible from North and South America, as well as parts of western Europe and north Africa.

And since it appears in January, when wolves howled in hunger outside villages, it has earned the name wolf moon, according to The Farmers Almanac.

"It's one of those events that every time you see an eclipse, every time you see Saturn's rings, every time you see one of these things in the night sky, it sticks with you", he said.

Astronomers and skygazers are particularly interested in this year's blood moon, as it is the last of its kind for two years.

To get the full effect of this natural rarity, you might think you need to get out into the Dales, away from the bright lights of Bradford, to witness it in its full magnificence. The reddish light that reflects back toward us gives the moon a blood-red tone.

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Total lunar eclipses are very rare.

'A little bit of sunlight is refracted by the Earth's atmosphere and reaches the Moon, bending around the edges of the Earth, ' explained Walter Freeman, an assistant teaching professor at Syracuse University's physics department.

The moon is likely to appear pinky red as light gets bent and then filtered through fine dust particles in the Earth's atmosphere.

The key timeframe is Sunday evening (January 20) or early Monday morning, depending on where you live in the world. The moniker refers to the moon's red tint during the eclipse.

At 10:33 p.m. ET, the moon enters the umbra, or the bulk of Earth's shadow. "The moon actually goes right through the shadow of the Earth".

The next partial lunar eclipse will be this summer, on July 16, but will be visible only in Africa and portions of Asia.

The penumbral eclipse starts at 9:36 p.m. E.T. on January 20, according to the site. The main event lasts about an hour. While watching a solar eclipse requires special protective glasses, lunar eclipses can be safely viewed with the naked eye.

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