Hope for a clear sky at the midnight hour on Monday — if we’re lucky, and if you stay up late, you’ll be able to see what NASA is calling one of the sky’s “most dazzling shows.”
Through the night you’ll be treated to the super blood wolf moon.
The first full moon of January is called the “wolf moon.” The name hearkens back to old tales of wolves baying at the moon just outside small villages.
This one will be special for a couple of reasons: First, at just 226,000 miles away, the moon will be at the closest point to Earth in its orbit, which is called perigee.
When the full moon hits this point, it’s called a supermoon because it can appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than normal.
Here’s a vocabulary word you can whip out to impress your friends: syzygy. It describes the alignment of three celestial bodies — in this case, the sun, moon, and Earth.
When the three align from our perspective, sunlight that filters through the atmosphere casts a red pall over the moon, making it a “blood moon.”
And here’s the coolest part: just 12 minutes after midnight in our time zone, we’ll get a lunar eclipse, making it the astronomical event of Winter 2019.
It will be your first chance in three years to see the super blood wolf moon eclipse.
The phenomenon will be visible across all of North America and South America, as well as western portions of Europe and Africa.
Have no fear — unlike solar eclipses, you can safely watch a lunar eclipse without any special eye protection.
Also, don’t worry that the super blood wolf moon eclipse could bring disaster.
According to NASA, “A supermoon will not cause extreme flooding, earthquakes, fires, volcanic eruptions, severe weather, nor tsunamis, despite what incorrect and non-scientific speculators might suggest.”