Published: Fri, January 18, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Total lunar eclipse meets supermoon Sunday night

Total lunar eclipse meets supermoon Sunday night

All of which is to say that what you're getting is a SUPER BLOOD WOLF MOON, which sounds much cooler than "total lunar eclipse", just saying. (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. At the same time, the moon will be ever so closer to Earth and appear slightly bigger and brighter than usual-a supermoon.

Finally, full moons are given monthly names, and this one happens to be the "wolf" moon.

As NPR's Rebecca Hersher has reported, the moon will get its shadowy revenge in a few years: "There will be solar eclipses visible from parts of the contiguous US on October 14, 2023, and April 8, 2024".

So bundle up, enjoy the clear skies and see what a super blood wolf moon looks like on Sunday night and Monday morning. Then the real fun begins at 10:34 p.m. when the first hint of a Earth's shadow touching the moon will signal the start of the eclipse.

On top of changing colors, the moon will be super. During the eclipse, our planet's shadow is projected onto the full Moon, slowly darkening its surface until it's completely covered. Unlike solar eclipses, the lunar varieties are safe to watch.

In the USA, the eclipse will begin relatively early Sunday evening, making it easier for children to stay up and enjoy the show. You probably won't be able to notice the difference in the size or the brightness of the moon, but it is noteworthy enough as an astronomical event.

The super blood wolf moon eclipse will occur at 12:12 a.m. ET on January 21, but you'll be able to watch the moon turn from white to orange in the hours beforehand.

The "Blood" part comes from the way the sun's light passes through Earth's atmosphere during the eclipse. It could also take on little to no color, he said. January's full moon was referred to as the Wolf Moon. If you want to see this phenomenon, make sure you wrap up very warm, as temperatures of -2C at sea and -6C inland are expected.

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

Edmontonians will have the chance to view the lunar eclipse in style Sunday evening while celebrating with space-themed activities at the Telus World of Science.

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