It will be a little strange in the night sky the evening of January 20 (or early morning January 21 in Europe), but don't worry. It's just a rare cosmic geometry that will make a great ol full moon a spooky shadow of crimson for a spelling.
Three elements make a "superblood wave moon" ", but the part that makes it so rare it happens only three times in the century is least impressive. A "wolf moon" is simply the common name for a moon that happens in the month of January.
Remove it and you have a superb blood moon, which is a total lunar eclipse that happens at "perigee syzygy." I know that some people miss words like syzygy without any real vowels, so let's stick to supermoon from here.
A total eclipse is called a blood moon, because when the sun, earth and moon all line up briefly the earth's shadow casts a reddish shadow on its lonely natural satellite. Then it is the supermoon part, which means that the moon is at the forefront of its orbit, where it is just a little closer to us, which makes it seem 10-15 percent larger in the sky.
We get two to five supermoons every year, while the gap between blood months is somewhere from six months to about three years. You can also plan on about one to five months of super each decade, but they only fall in January three times in this century (the third and last 21's super-bloodstone hardly qualifies, as it falls at the end of the month of January 31, 2037).
The total lunar eclipse on Sunday night will be visible from all over North and South America, except the Aleutian Alaska Islands. West Africa and the western half of Europe will also take in most of the show.
Start at 7:34 pm PT or 10:34 p.m. A Sunday, a partial eclipse begins, with the full eclipse beginning a little over an hour later. You can surely look at the blood moon from any sky is clear enough, unlike solar eclipses that require special eye protection in most cases. The main event lasts about one hour.
If skies do not cooperate or you cannot disturb yourself outside for some reason to see it yourself, you can capture the live stream from the Virtual Telescope Project in Rome below. There is also a handful of other eclipses that will continue until 2019 .
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