Super Blood Wolf Moon: Your essential guide to rare lunar event

Posted January 21, 2019

A "super" moon occurs when the moon is especially close to earth, while a "wolf moon" is the traditional name for the full moon of January.

This will be the first total lunar eclipse since July 2018, and the last to happen until the year 2021.

A blood moon refers to a reddish-copper color that happens during total lunar eclipses, Peterson said.

Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse is the celestial event when moon, earth and sun line up perfectly in a straight line with earth in the middle.

During a lunar eclipse, the moon passes through the Earth's shadow (known as the "umbra"); the shadow then blocks the Sun's light from illuminating the moon as it normally does.

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Because of its reddish color, an eclipsed moon is sometimes called a blood moon. The moon will be a little closer than it normally is to the Earth.

The "Wolf" moon is the name given to January's full moon.

According to the Farmer's Almanac, the term wolf moon comes from Indigenous culture, as the moon appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages. The more particulate or pollution in the atmosphere, the redder the moon appears. The colour changes because small molecules that make up the Earth's atmosphere scatter blue light as sunlight passes through it, leaving behind mostly red light that bends, or refracts, into Earth's shadow. That is why it appears slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon, according to NASA.

We get two to five supermoons every year, while the gap between blood moons is anywhere from six months to about three years.

For the Chicago area, this will be the last visible total eclipse until May 15, 2022.

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It begins with the partial phase around 10:34 p.m. EST Sunday.

"It's a great way for people to connect with the sky, with an object that people are familiar with and that you don't need special equipment to go outside and see".

It's the only total lunar eclipse of the year. Partial eclipses leading up to and following the total eclipse mean the entire event will last 3.5 hours.

A blood moon last happened in July 2018, though viewers in the United Kingdom struggled to see it due to clouds obscuring the celestial phenomenon. However, there is no official live stream available from NASA.

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