January’s Super Blood ‘Wolf’ Moon Lunar Eclipse
With a fresh start and a blank slate, many are looking forward to new goals and experiences. January sets the tone for a stellar and eventful year ahead both on Earth and in outer space. This year packs a substantial amount of astronomical events spanning across lunar eclipses, meteorite showers, and rocket launches. On January 21, 2019, the super blood wolf moon will coincide with a total lunar eclipse—giving millions around the globe an opportunity to catch this rare event. Leading up to the supermoon, a partial lunar eclipse, on January 6, will occur giving some people around the world a glimpse of what’s to come.
Partial Lunar Eclipse
While January first marks the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new wheel, the moon steps in to join in it’s telling of phases. The partial lunar eclipse preceding the supermoon on January 6, 2019, will be visible in Asia starting at sunrise traveling eastward to Alaska. You can find your exact viewing location with eclipse finder.
Total Super Blood ‘Wolf’ Moon Eclipse
This upcoming total eclipse is the last of its kind until 2021 making this a treat for stargazers and moon lovers alike. While the moon will be full, the effects on our atmosphere will allow many to see a sky full of stars and the Milky Way galaxy—given that it is a clear night.
Since the moon will be in Earth’s shadow, the light will bounce off the moon’s surface giving it a reddish hue. Depending on how much pollution/debris is in the atmosphere will determine how red the moon appears. The eclipse will occur on January 20, beginning at 10:34 ET for a duration of 3.5 hours. If the weather obstructs viewing, you can watch this livestream coverage.
Due to its proximity to the Earth, we’ll be experiencing a supermoon. While the moon itself won’t be any different in size, it’s proximity to the planet will make it appear larger and brighter. At its closest point, perigee, the moon is about 222,000 miles away from the planet. At its furthest, apogee, the moon is 253,000 miles away. If you’re able to catch the super blood ‘wolf’ moon as it is rising, you’re in for a dazzling sight as the moon will appear bigger closer to the horizon.
Native American tribes associated the moon with different aspects of nature each month. For example, last month we referred to Earth’s natural satellite as the full ‘cold’ moon. January is most popularly known as the ‘wolf’ moon, but different tribes had other names such as ‘greetings makers’ moon, ‘great spirits’ moon and ‘center’ moon to name a few.
Spend time outside this season and you might just catch some ice crystals form a parhelion or ‘sundog’ in the sky. While the cold might not be ideal for most, winter has a lot to offer when it comes to solar events. Ringing in the new year with a super blood ‘wolf’ moon lunar eclipse is just the start of it all.
Written by Michelle Estevez