A total lunar eclipse will take place Jan. 20, and it will be the only one this year. (NASA photo)
By Leigh Morgan AL.COM
The only total lunar eclipse of 2019 is happening next week, according to NASA.
And it won’t be any old eclipse, either. NASA says this one will feature a “super blood moon.”
But there’s more.
Lunar eclipses only happen during full moons, and January’s full moon is sometimes called the “Wolf Moon.”
So that will make it a “Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse.”
Let’s take a look at what all that really means:
*The only total lunar eclipse of 2019 will happen on the evening of Jan. 20, which is Sunday.
*It will be a total lunar eclipse, which means the entire moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow.
*The eclipse will also occur when the moon will be closest to Earth in its monthly orbit, and it will move close enough to qualify it as a “super moon.” That can make the moon appear slightly bigger than normal in the night sky.
*It will be a “blood moon” as well. A blood moon is simply a moon that takes on a red or orange tint as it moves into the Earth’s shadow.
Here’s a look at the timing:
The edge of the moon will start to enter the outer shadow of the Earth, called the penumbra, at 8:36 p.m. CST Sunday.
It may not be very noticeable at first. According to NASA the moon will dim “very slightly” for nearly the next hour as it moves deeper into shadow.
The edge of the moon will begin entering the deepest part of Earth’s shadow — or umbra — at 9:33 p.m. CST Sunday.
The moon will be completely inside the Earth’s shadow by 10:41 p.m. CST, which leads to the moment of greatest eclipse, which will come at 11:12 p.m. CST, according to NASA. The moon will appear to be orange or reddish at this point.
This is where the super moon factor could play in: According to NASA because the moon is closer to Earth it will move “deeper inside the umbra shadow and therefore may appear darker.”
The edge of the moon will begin to leave the umbra at 11:43 p.m. CST.
The eclipse will end at 1:48 a.m. CST Monday.