Planetarium offers free enhanced viewing of ‘super wolf blood moon’

19 January, 2019, 04:29 | Author: Kristi Owen
  • Last year’s “super blue moon” total lunar eclipse.
Marco Ugarte  

This Monday, January 21, marks the last lunar eclipse of the decade and the only Super Wolf Blood Moon of the period. "The peak of the total lunar eclipse will happen shortly after day's end on Sunday, Jan. 20, on the US east coast, at 12:16 a.m. EST (0516 GMT) on Monday, Jan. 21", according to the experts at, "This peak is also known as the "greatest eclipse" and is defined as the moment when the moon comes closest to the axis of Earth's shadow".

The last time a total lunar eclipse was visible in MA was September 28, 2015. As the Moon is so close to Earth, it appears larger in the sky than usual. "Lunar eclipses. reflect our world", astronomer and podcaster Pamela Gay told in an email. Usually, the slightly tilted path means the full moon still gets some light from the sun. Totality - when the Earth completely blocks the sun from the moon - will occur after 10:40 p.m., as the moon turns a boring shade of red. We get to see that connection between the earth, sun and the moon in the sky in that moment, which is really neat. But approximately once a year, as the moon travels along its tilted axis, it ends up directly behind Earth and is thrust into near darkness.

For Sunday, the label "blood" refers to the color the moon will appear during the eclipse. Brutally cold air will arrive later Sunday into Monday night. Say hello to a lunar eclipse and a supermoon sharing the limelight high in the skies on Monday morning (January 21).

As NPR's Rebecca Hersher has reported, the moon will get its shadowy revenge in a few years: "There will be solar eclipses visible from parts of the contiguous USA on October 14, 2023, and April 8, 2024".

Finally, full moons are given monthly names, and this one happens to be the "wolf" moon.

The Spokane area will see its next total lunar eclipse on May 26, 2021, with totality at 4:11 a.m.

NASA serves up a year-by-year list of total, partial and penumbral lunar eclipses. The Virtual Telescope Project will begin its airing at 10:30 p.m. ET.

As for the "wolf" part of the name, this lunar eclipse happens to coincide with the wolf moon, which is the name that has been traditionally given to the full moon experienced in the month of January.

2 According to the NASA website, the lunar eclipse taught people that the Earth is round when they saw Earth's shadow on the moon.

All three things will be happening at once: a super moon, lunar eclipse, and a full moon. It will be easiest to see during the two weeks after 2019's Super Snow Moon.

The Blood Moon will be at its most intense during maximum totality, which also marks the midway point of the light show.

The rise of a full moon is one of the most underappreciated natural sights of all.



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