ROANOKE, Va. – Come Sunday night, all of North America will be able to see a lunar eclipse (weather permitting). This is what happens when the earth is essentially sandwiched in between the sun and moon. The earth's shadow casts a red hue over the moon, from our perspective. Some are calling it the 'super blood wolf moon,' but don't get too caught up in the name.
Super refers to the fact that the moon will be at perigee, its closest point to Earth. This typically means the moon will appear a little larger and brighter than usual.
Blood refers to the red hue that takes over the moon, once it passes fully through the earth's shadow.
Wolf refers to the name given to a full moon in the month of January.
Let's time this eclipse out for you! The hope is that, once our Arctic cold front blows through, the sky will clear up a bit for us.
The most interesting time of the eclipse will be between about 10:30 p.m. and 1:50 a.m. EST.
At 10:33 p.m, the partial eclipse begins. This is when the innermost shadow of the earth (the umbra), gives the lower left part of the moon a red hue.
By 11:41 p.m. on January 20, the earth's shadow will completely take over the moon.
Whereas totality during the solar eclipse of 2017 only lasted a few minutes, totality during this upcoming lunar eclipse will last for more than an hour.
As time goes on, the moon will emerge from Earth's innermost shadow close to 2 a.m. on January 21.
You don't need any special binoculars to see this. The moon will be full and high in the sky for our viewing.
Also, remember how we had to wear protective glasses during the solar eclipse? We won't have to do that this time around.
Enjoy, bundle up and hope/pray for a clear sky!