A Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse will take place from Sunday night into Monday morning. While this astronomical occurrence is rare, it's not as crazy as the name might imply. Let's break down each part of the name to explain what it means.
First, this is a total lunar eclipse. The earth rotates around the sun and the moon rotates around the earth. Every so often, the earth will get in the way of the sun shining light to the moon. A total eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the darkest part of the earth's shadow. These happen twice every three years or so.
A blood moon isn't a technical term, but just a way to describe the appearance of a lunar eclipse. Then the moon sits in the earth's shadow, it will appear to have a reddish hue. That's because some of the sun's light will pass through the earth's atmosphere and dimly light the moon with a red glow.
A supermoon happens when the moon is at its closest point to the earth. While you may be expecting a huge difference from a normal moon, only the most avid amateur astronomers will notice a slight increase in brightness and size.
Finally, the wolf part is a name given to full moons during the month of January. Each month's full moons have names derived from Native American and other past sources.
So will you actually be able to see this moon with a bunch of names? Yes! We should have pretty clear skies by tomorrow night despite all the rain expected tonight. But along with clear skies, we'll have pretty cold temperatures thanks to the passing cold front. If you head outside, make sure you're wearing warm clothing.
The moon will start moving into the outer shadow at 9:36 PM. The better show starts at 11:41 PM as the moon starts moving into the total eclipse. You'll have a great view of totality until 12:43 AM. From there, you'll have a couple more hours of a partial eclipse.
The next total lunar eclipse won't happen until 2021. If you can stay up late and brave the cold, it's a good idea to get outside and enjoy.
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