Total eclipse of the moon, a.k.a. Super Blood Wolf Moon


    Total eclipse of the moon, a.k.a. Super Blood Wolf Moon (KUTV)

    If the weather isn't blocking your view of the sky, you should be able to witness a total eclipse of the moon.

    Referred to as the 'Super Blood Wolf Moon,' a lunar eclipse which could turn our moon blood red will coincide with the 'Wolf Moon,' the name given to the full moon in the month of January.

    Additionally, Sunday night's eclipse also occurs when the full moon is near the closest point in its orbit to the earth, earning the title of "super moon." Basically it'll be a little larger than normal. This plays a role in the eclipse as well as the moon will be a little darker than a typical lunar eclipse.

    “For Utahns the moon will start to move into earth's shadow about 8:34 p.m. when it's about one third of the way up the eastern sky," NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador to Utah Patrick Wiggins said.

    Totality happens about a little more than an hour later at 9:41 p.m.

    That's when the moon is completely covered by earth's shadow.

    The moon will then start to emerge at 10:43 and be clear of the darkest part of the shadow by 11:50 pm when the moon is high in the south.

    "While many have taken to calling this a Blood Red Moon eclipse, Wiggins notes there's really no way to say beforehand what color the Moon will be during totality," Wiggins said. "The possibilities include grey, orange, copper and red. But it's also possible it will be so dark that it's invisible to the naked eye."

    If you don't want to travel too far to see the eclipse, there are eclipse watch parties Sunday night at the University of Utah and the Salt Lake Astronomical Society (SLAS).

    Telescopes available in the parking lot of the Harmons grocery store located at 5454 South Redwood Road in Taylorsville, thanks to SLAS.

    The U's event will be held on campus in their South Physics Observatory which is located on the roof of the South Physics Building at 125 South 1400 East in Salt Lake City.

    “Unlike eclipses of the Sun which require special safety precautions, eclipses of the Moon are perfectly safe to observe with just the naked eye," Wiggins said. So stare all you want, and maybe even howl if you feel like it”.

    A list of all eclipses visible from Utah through 2025 is available on Wiggins' Solar System Ambassador website at http://utahastro.info

    The next lunar eclipse will be in May of 2021.


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