• The Super Wolf Blood Moon lunar eclipse is the first and last total lunar eclipse of 2019.
• This lunar eclipse will be visible from the United States and other parts of the world within the same time zone.
• The next total lunar eclipse will be on May 26, 2021.
It’s a unique celestial event, it’s a wonder to behold, and it sounds totally badass.
On January 20 at 11:41 PM EST — that’s 12:41 PM on January 21 for folks living in the Philippines — the United States and other parts of the world within the same time zone will witness a Super Wolf Blood Moon. It will last a total of five hours, but the moon will be in its most impressive phase for about 62 minutes. Oh, and it’s 2019’s first and last total lunar eclipse.
Total eclipse of the…Moon
Lunar eclipses happen when the Sun and Moon end up on opposite sides of the Earth.
As the moon moves into the Earth’s shadow, it takes on a rusty shade. This is caused by the scattering of sunlight as it hits Earth’s atmosphere: the Rayleigh scattering phenomenon. This produces the same reddish hues we see at sunrise and sunset, which are then reflected on the Moon’s surface.
The Moon dims as it enters the outer edges of Earth’s shadow, called the punumbra. It reaches its peak (and assumes its brightest red hue) upon reaching the umbra — the deepest part of Earth’s shadow.
Wait, what IS a Super Wolf Blood Moon?
Let’s dissect the term “Super Wolf Blood Moon” before it starts reminding you of werewolves or young adult novels of questionable quality.
For starters, it’s a “super” moon because it will look bigger to us. The Moon will be closer to Earth at this point, as both celestial bodies line up with the Sun. Thus, from our position, Earth’s only satellite will increase in both size and brightness, albeit briefly.
Meanwhile, the “wolf” part of its name comes from the fact that at one point, January full moons were linked to the mating season of wolves.
Lastly, the term “blood moon” simply means that the moon will look reddish-orange.
Still, it’s pretty creepy (and awesome).
Watch the Super Wolf Blood Moon lunar eclipse here
Sadly, this total lunar eclipse won’t be visible from the Philippines, as it takes place in the middle of the day. However, Filipinos can still watch it live, thanks to the livestream on the Time and Date YouTube channel.
Here’s what the schedule of the Super Wolf Blood Moon looks like, in Philippine time.
The full eclipse starts today at 12:41 PM; at this point, the Moon will start turning reddish.
If you want to see the Moon at its brightest red, tune in at 1:12-1:17 PM. (This would also be a good time to start howling like a werewolf, if you’re into that sort of thing.)
It will gradually lose its reddish hue at 1:43 PM, and will go back to looking like the Moon we all know and love at 3:48 PM.
If you have time, tune in — the next total lunar eclipse won’t be until May 26, 2021.
Cover photo: timeanddate.com YouTube channel
Author: Mikael Angelo Francisco
Bitten by the science writing bug, Mikael has years of writing and editorial experience under his belt. As the editor-in-chief of FlipScience, Mikael has sworn to help make science more fun and interesting for geeky readers and casual audiences alike.