Total lunar eclipse set to woo skywatchers Sunday night to Monday

21 January, 2019, 00:31 | Author: Emilio Conner
  • How to see the last 'super blood wolf moon' lunar eclipse for 18 years

There will be a total eclipse of the moon Sunday night across the United States and while there is no guarantee the clouds will clear out in time for us to see it, it is a possibility. But some light makes its way around the Earth and through the Earth's atmosphere to reach the moon and the result is a red coloring on the moon.

On a more modern note, National Geographic explains that this lunar eclipse corresponds with the wolf moon which is the traditional name for January's full moon.

"The Sun's red light is scattered much less by air, and is bent by Earth's atmosphere in a process called refraction, traveling all the way through it to light up the Moon's surface". "It is also known as the Old Moon", The Old Farmer's Almanac says. A supermoon means the moon appears larger in the sky due to the full moon being at its closest approach to Earth. For a lunar eclipse, the moon, Earth, and sun are all directly in line. Indigenous tribes in North America kept track of seasons by observing the full moons, giving them names that related to their time of year.

In the second phase, a partial eclipse will appear. That "bite" gets bigger and bigger as the moon moves deeper into the shadow. The phenomenon occurs when the Moon enters the shadow of the Earth, becoming red and brown in colour, the Croatian Astronomical Association announced, reports Jutarnji List on January 20, 2019.

This weekend, the partial eclipse will begin at 10:33 p.m. ET.

Why does the moon turn red?

"For a blood moon and a super moon to come together is fairly rare, it only happens every two years or so".

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The eclipse is set to start at 2.36am on Monday January 21, though people are unlikely to see anything until later in the morning.

If you were standing on the moon as Earth began to block the sun's light, darkness would fall around you.

Europeans last saw a total lunar eclipse in July 2018.

Totality will occur at 11:41 p.m. ET.

The Royal Museums Greenwich is hosting a Facebook Live event from 4am, where viewers can watch as events unfold.

Unlike a solar eclipse, which requires eye protection to safely enjoy the view, no extra measures need to be taken for hazard-free lunar eclipse watching.

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