Wolf moon set to light up the night sky

18 January, 2019, 19:58 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • Last year’s “super blue moon” total lunar eclipse.
Marco Ugarte  
AP

The Planetarium at Union Station will offer an enhanced viewing of the super wolf blood moon on Sunday night.

Total lunar eclipses occur only during full moons.

The bad news? If the skies are clouded over, it doesn't matter.

There is, however, a legitimately interesting celestial event coming: a total lunar eclipse, which occurs when the sun, moon and Earth line up, with the Earth passing between the sun and the moon.

Canada is optimally placed to see it, given that there are clear skies. During the eclipse, our planet's shadow is projected onto the full Moon, slowly darkening its surface until it's completely covered. That may happen once a year (as is the case in 2019), twice a year (as in 2018), or not at all in the course of a year (as in 2020).

A lunar eclipse dips down behind the Wheeler Town Clock in Manitou Springs, Colo. early Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014.

As NASA explains, Earth casts a red shadow because of how our atmosphere scatters light.

What is a blood moon? Others aren't insane about the phrase.

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"It is a super moon", said Bodie, who will be out at the beach to check it out Sunday evening.

Because of the varying orbital positions of the moon in its orbit around Earth, this weekend's full moon is closer to us than average, which means the moon looks bigger and brighter than average. The second full moon in a month is a blue moon. But it isn't the so-called "super blood wolf moon", according to one local astronomer.

A "wolf Moon" is simply a folk name for the Moon that rises during January.

"During totality, which will last 62 minutes, the moon will appear to glow like an eerie ball - which to the eye, and especially in binoculars and small telescopes - will appear nearly three dimensional", Joe Rao, an instructor at New York's Hayden Planetarium, wrote in a Space.com column.

Unlike a solar eclipse, you can look at a lunar eclipse.

Sunday will mark the final time a lunar eclipse and a supermoon occur at the same time until May 2021. As it takes over, the moon will go dark, though the edges will be fuzzy.

This map shows locations worldwide from which the january 20 total lunar eclipse is visible, weather permitting. The rest of Europe, as well as Africa, will have partial viewing before the moon sets.

If the skies are clear, the eclipse will be visible in North and South America, as well as Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Portugal along with the French and Spanish coasts.

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