Skywatchers across the continental U.S. will be treated to a total lunar eclipse overnight on Jan. 20-21 when Earth’s shadow sweeps over the lunar surface to give it a reddish tinge and transform it into what some call a “blood moon.”
This will be the first lunar eclipse of 2019 and the last total lunar eclipse until 2021. It coincides with the year’s first full moon — a “wolf moon” in the folklore tradition since it happens at a time of year when wolves howl outside towns — and comes when the moon is somewhat greater and more splendid in light of the fact that it’s at the nearest point to Earth in its elliptical orbit.
Since it’s a so-called supermoon that is being shadowed, a few news sources have named this eclipse a “super blood wolf moon.”
Be that as it may, if the eclipse will be outsized, your desires likely shouldn’t be.
“There is nothing ‘wolfy’ about this eclipse, and I’ve never really been able to tell a supermoon from a normal moon with my own eye,” Tyler Nordgren, an astronomer in Ithaca, New York, told NBC News MACH in an email.
The eclipse will be visible across over North and South America, just as in parts of western Europe and Africa. Skywatchers in different parts of Africa, Europe and Asia will see a partial eclipse.
Things begin on Jan. 20 at about 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time, when Earth’s shadow begins to cross the lunar surface. Totality — the moment that the sun, moon and Earth are flawlessly adjusted and Earth’s shadow covers the whole plate of the moon — happens at 12:12 a.m. Eastern Time on Jan. 21.
“Everyone with a clear sky will have a spectacular view,” Nordgren stated, including that he would be among the individuals who adventure outside for a look.
Don’t worry about special eye security. While solar eclipses must be seen with special glasses or lenses, lunar eclipses can securely be seen with the naked eye.
The eclipse is one of two lunar eclipses and three solar eclipses in 2019. There will be a halfway lunar eclipse on July 16, however the next total lunar eclipse won’t come until May 26, 2021.