Wolf Blood Super Moon will be visible from Northern Ireland

Cristina Cross
January 18, 2019

So bundle up, enjoy the clear skies and see what a super blood wolf moon looks like on Sunday night and Monday morning. (Not that it isn't super already - we love our only natural satellite.) This recently popular but decades-old term is used to describe a full or new moon that is closest to Earth in its orbit, which is the shape of an ellipse, just like Earth's orbit is an ellipse around the sun. "This totality lasts roughly another hour, and at about 1:45 a.m. EST on January 21 (10:45 p.m. PST on January 20), the full moon will return to its normal appearance". And making it so accessible is that all you need are your unaided eyes to soak in the eclipse, which will be visible even from backyards and bedroom windows within the brightly lit city.

The sun, the moon, the stars, and the celebration of the late Martin Luther King are inching towards a flawless alignment for this Sunday night. As the moon passes behind Earth, Earth blocks the sun's light and completely covers the moon in its shadow. Partial eclipses leading up to and following the total eclipse mean the entire event will last 3.5 hours.

Andy Clark took this image of a lunar eclipse over Ashford in 2015.

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"The peak of the total lunar eclipse will happen shortly after day's end on Sunday, Jan. 20, on the USA east coast, at 12:16 a.m. EST (0516 GMT) on Monday, Jan. 21", according to the experts at Space.com, "This peak is also known as the "greatest eclipse" and is defined as the moment when the moon comes closest to the axis of Earth's shadow". It's the "moment of greatest eclipse, when the Moon is halfway through the umbra, occurs", NASA explains. The lunar eclipse is for everyone! "The same reason that a sunset appears red, which is that the light is scattered through the atmosphere of Earth causes the light hitting the moon during the total lunar eclipse to also appear red", he said. "So we've got the super blood wolf moon". And if you can wait another two years after that, there's a North American total solar eclipse to look forward to in 2024. With all the traces of direct sunlight gone, the moon will glow a shade of fiery orange for over an hour.

Sunday will mark the final time a lunar eclipse and a supermoon occur at the same time until May 2021.

AND, TO THINK: When my boy Willard and I were preparing to register for our freshman year, he got into a froth when he read astronomy was "the study of heavenly bodies".

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