09 | DIC | 2019
Everything you need to know about the Super Blood Moon
Total lunar eclipses occur when the moon moves into perfect alignment with the sun and earth, giving it a copper-red or “blood” appearance - Photo: Rikubetsu Astronomy and Terrestrial Science Museum

Everything you need to know about the Super Blood Moon

19/01/2019
18:22
Newsroom & Agencies
Mexico City
Barbara Goldberg/Reuters
-A +A
The eclipse will begin on January 20 at 21:35 hours and end on January 21, at 00:49 hours

Three uncanny astronomical phenomenons will happen simultaneously on January 20: A total lunar eclipse, a super moon, and a blood moon. The singular event will be visible throughout the American continent.

The total eclipse will last for about an hour, and the best viewing is from North and South America, according to National Geographic. Partial eclipses leading up to and following the total eclipse mean the entire event will last 3.5 hours.

Total lunar eclipses occur when the moon moves into perfect alignment with the sun and earth, giving it a copper-red or “blood” appearance to those watching from below.

According to Mexico’s National Astronomical Observatory, the eclipse will begin at 21:35 hours and end on January 21, at 00:49 hours.

“Amateur astronomy clubs are throwing parties because this is what they live for - to get entire families excited about our place in the universe by seeing the mechanics of the cosmos,” said Andrew Fazekas, spokesman for Astronomers Without Borders.

A “super” moon occurs when the moon is especially close to earth, though in January, full moons are also called “wolf” moons, since the howling of wolves was a sound that helped define winter in ancient times, according to The Farmers Almanac.

In a total lunar eclipse, the moon never goes completely dark. Rather, it takes on a reddish glow from refracted light as the heavenly bodies move into position - hence the “blood moon” moniker. The more particulate or pollution in the atmosphere, the redder the moon appears.

“All of the sunrises and sunsets around the world are simultaneously cast onto the surface of the moon,” Fazekas said.

As many as 2.8 billion people may see this weekend’s eclipse from the Western Hemisphere, Europe, West Africa and northernmost Russia, according to Space.com.

While total lunar eclipses are not especially rare, the 2019 version takes place early enough in the evening that it can be enjoyed by stargazers of all ages, said George Lomaga, a retired astronomy professor from Suffolk County Community College.
 

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