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Lunar Eclipse January 20 - What is a Super Blood Moon?

by Newton Real Estate Group 01/10/2019

This year, no matter where in the country you live, on January 20 and 21, you'll be able to witness Earth's shadow crawling over the full moon. Called a Super Blood Moon Eclipse, this year's light show happens during a full moon when the Moon passes nearest to the Earth, so it appears both larger and more luminescent than average. As the earth's shadow crosses the lunar surface, the reflective light turns our normally silvery orb a deep blood red. This year’s event combines three lunar activities at once: The total eclipse (when the Earth, Sun, and Moon line up perfectly), a super-moon (when the moon is closer to Earth during its orbit), and a “Wolf Moon” (the nickname for a full-moon appearing mid-winter). 

This event marks the only lunar eclipse for 2019 and 2020, with the next one appearing on May 26, 2021. The last total lunar eclipse appeared on July 27, 2018, but viewers from the Americas missed the show. 

What to know

  • Time: The entire event lasts three and a half hours including partial eclipses visible at the beginning and end of the phenomenon.
  • Totality: the moment the shadow obscures the entire moon begins at 11:41 PM Eastern Time on January 20 and will last for an hour and two minutes. The peak period is about 12:16 AM Eastern Time, January 21, 2019.
  • Visibility: Stargazers from the Americas, Greenland, Iceland, western Africa, and western Europe may view the entirety, including partial eclipses. Eastern Africa and eastern Europe should see a partial eclipse, while viewers from most of Asia will not see even a part of the eclipse.
  • While super-moons typically appear 30 percent brighter than average, and about 14 percent larger, these differences might not even be visible to your naked eye.
  • Wolf moons, also called Old moons, refer to full moons appearing in winter and refer to wolves howling at the moon after a successful hunt for winter food.

Why is it red?

The moon appears to be deep red during a lunar eclipse due to how light bends when passing through the Earth's atmosphere before it reflects off the moon's surface. Additionally, Earth’s air scatters the shorter cooler colored light-waves such as blue or green, so the warmer colors—red, orange, and yellow are what we see.

Make plans for a moon-watching party with friends and family in your new backyard.

About the Author

Newton Real Estate Group

We are Newton Real Estate Group and Newton Land Development. John Newton, Brenda Corliss (pictured) and Rhonda Stitzel have over 50 combined years of experience in real estate sales and real estate development. The varied experience of our team provides expertise in listing your home for sale, walking you through the construction of your dream home, or managing the development of an entire commercial project from land acquisition to handing you the keys.