A Super Wolf Blood Moon will appear in all its stunning splendor at the end of this month, as a rare cosmic gesture to be received in 2019.
People living in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the Central Pacific could report late in the evening of January 20 and early in the morning of Jan. 21, according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The eastern side of North America will have the best view, but the full lunar eclipse will be visible from coast to coast and will take much longer than most eclipses, lasting about one hour and three minutes. Super Blood Wolf moons are very unusual: Only 28 are set to mark this century.
Here's everything you need to know about the impending celestial excitement:
What is a wolf-moon?
"Traditionally, a wolf-moon is the first full moon in January," said Tracy Gregg, planet scientist at the University of Buffalo.
Why is it called Wolfmond?
"Nobody really knows why it's called that," Gregg said. "But I'm sure you can imagine cold, dark European winters a thousand years ago, with the wolves howling in the distance."
Nobody knows exactly why it is so named. But I'm sure you can imagine cold, dark European winters a thousand years ago, when the wolves howl in the distance.
What is a "supermond"?
"A super moon is when the full moon is closest to the earth at the same time as the moon," said Gregg. "The distance between the earth and the moon changes slightly each day as the moon orbits the earth [and] .The full moon occurs when the moon and the earth are closest to each other. [when] The moon looks really bigger than usual . "
What is a "blood moon"?
"A blood moon is part of a lunar eclipse. When the shadow of the earth is between the sun and the full moon, the color of the moon changes to a reddish tint, "explained Gregg.
The earth's atmosphere emits blue light (that's why the sky looks blue), but the red light is reflected on the surface of the moon – that's what we see during a lunar eclipse.
Why does the moon look red?
"We are used to seeing a full moon when the bright moonlight is pure sunlight reflected from the lunar surface," said Gregg.
"During a lunar eclipse, the only light the moon receives is reflected from the earth and the earth's atmosphere, the earth's atmosphere scatters blue light (that's why the sky looks blue), but the red light is reflected on the lunar surface that's what we see during a lunar eclipse. "
What is a "Super Blood Wolf Moon"?
"So a Super Blood Wolf Moon" is: a) the first full moon in January; b) a full moon, which occurs when the distance between the earth and the moon is as small as possible; c) a lunar eclipse – everything happens immediately! "Said Gregg, adding that this is a rare phenomenon.
When could I see it?
The total lunar eclipse begins on Sunday, January 20, at 11:41. EST and will last until Monday, January 21, 12:44 pm, according to Space.com, which reports the high of 21:16 EST on January 21st.