'Super blood wolf moon' eclipse to darken skies


The Wall Street Journal explains why the moon will seem red: "Because particles in the Earth's atmosphere scatter blue light, only the remaining red light will reach the moon" and bounce off it "when the Earth blocks the sun". (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.

Unlike a solar eclipse, you can look at a lunar eclipse.

"Super Moon" - a full moon that appears bigger than normal because it's at its closest point to Earth during its orbit.

The National Space Research and Development Agency on Friday says Nigeria will join other countries of the world to experience a total lunar eclipse on Monday.

Observatory volunteers will be on-hand to assist visitors in witnessing the eclipse through high-powered telescopes. January's eclipse combines a blood moon with a full super moon.

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The moon will stay bathed in our colorful shadow for over an hour before orbiting back out into the sunlight.

Here comes a total lunar eclipse and supermoon, all wrapped into one.

My modern-day chums at AccuWeather are predicting, as of this morning, a clear night for the eclipse - despite freezing temperatures in the 20s - and, no, you will need no special eyewear as is required for a daylight eclipse. And the idea is that in ancient times, when you had a full moon during January-the coldest part of the year-the wolves would gather outside the village and howl at the full moon.

The moon will start to enter the earth's shadow just after 2.30am and the maximum eclipse will happen just before 5.15am. Because an eclipsed moon is always full, the moon sets (or rises) at nearly the same time as the sun rises (or sets) on the opposite horizon. TimeandDate.com will begin their coverage at 10 p.m. ET. The entire nine-and-a-half-hour event can be seen from coast-to-coast-to-coast, though what we'll actually be able to see will last just over four hours. Sunlight filtered through the earth's atmosphere bounces back onto the moon's surface, and because the light waves are stretched out, they appear red when they strike the moon's surface.

For what it's worth, the next total lunar eclipse after this one comes on May 26, 2021, but only a tiny sliver of North America will see the total phase.