Published: Fri, January 18, 2019
Research | By Sheri Schwartz

Total Lunar Eclipse Meets Supermoon Sunday Night

Total Lunar Eclipse Meets Supermoon Sunday Night

Stargazers across Northern Ireland will be in for a treat next week, as a rare form of lunar eclipse will be visible in our skies - a "Wolf Blood Super Moon". That mean that when the moon is at its closest point to Earth - known as the perigee - it can appear up to 17 percent larger than it does at the farthest point in its orbit.

The name "wolf moon" comes from the Old Farmer's Almanac to refer to a "full moon". Sunday night, skygazers in the Tampa Bay area will be front-row center for the first total eclipse of the moon in almost three years.

So bundle up, enjoy the clear skies and see what a super blood wolf moon looks like on Sunday night and Monday morning.

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. Many Christians believe scripture indicates a Blood Moon is a sign from God regarding the return of Christ.

As for full-moon supermoons, this will be the first of three this year. That can only happen when the moon is on the opposite side of Earth from the sun. The lunar eclipse will be over at around 8.50am. Totality ends at 12:44 a.m. with the partial eclipse finishing at 1:51 a.m. ET at which time the moon returns to its usual bright silvery self.

"If you are lucky enough to be able to see the whole event, you can get a mental picture of the size of the Earth's shadow at the distance of the moon by watching the moon move against background stars".

The process then goes in reverse as the moon begins its exit through the umbra and eventually the penumbra. But that last part is because of something much cooler: an eclipse.

However, light from the sun is refracted around the Earth and when it reaches the Moon, it gives it a reddish glow.

The red effect is due to Earth's atmosphere.

For thousands of years the beauty and mystery surrounding this disappearing moon act has fascinated cultures around the world, and even today it still amazes. And the best thing is, you don't need any special equipment to watch it: just step outside, look up and find the moon.

This is not the first time a total lunar eclipse has coincided with a major Boston sporting event.

The whole eclipse starts Sunday night or early Monday, depending on location, and will take about three hours.

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