Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse visible Sunday night

How to see the last 'super blood wolf moon' lunar eclipse for 18 years

How to see the last 'super blood wolf moon' lunar eclipse for 18 years

You shouldn't need binoculars to be able to watch the event which will be visible across Europe and Africa as well as North and South America.

"However, refraction of the light and dust in our atmosphere will colour this light and the moon can turn a deep coppery red colour". Which is why scientists are calling Sunday's phenomenon the "super blood moon" or the "super blood wolf moon".

As if a total lunar eclipse wasn't unbelievable enough, this month's full moon is also at its perigee; at its closest position to Earth in its orbit, appearing larger than normal and often dubbed a "Supermoon".

The moon at perigee, or closest approach (left), appears 14 percent larger than the moon at apogee, or its farthest distance from Earth (right).

"Super" comes from the fact that this is a supermoon, which means that the moon, on its orbit, will be passing at its closet point to Earth.

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The occasion will also mark the year's first supermoon - which happens when a full moon is slightly closer to Earth and so appears bigger and brighter. Just like every other full moon of the year, the full moon in January gets its own name specially assigned.

During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth is positioned between the sun and the moon, which casts a shadow over the moon making it appear orange or red, like blood. Then an hour after that, if you've managed to stick it out for that long, the full Blood Moon will emerge at 11:41PM ET. You can safely look at the blood moon from anywhere skies are clear enough, unlike solar eclipses that require special eye protection in most cases.

'It's the last chance for a little while to see a total lunar eclipse, ' said Bruce Betts, chief scientist at The Planetary Society. The total lunar eclipse happens when the whole Moon enters the shadow of the Earth; when just one part of the Moon's disc enters the shadow, that is a partial eclipse. When that happens, it will look like a chunk of the moon has gone missing.

The penumbral eclipse starts at 9:36 p.m. E.T. on January 20, according to the site. This is because a small portion of sunlight is refracted by the Earth's atmosphere and mostly red light reaches the Moon. Sometimes it passes between the Earth and the sun and causes an eclipse of the sun, and can similarly cause a partial eclipse of the sun.

The blood moon will last about an hour, until around 12:44 AM ET. The deepest phase of the eclipse will be at 7.13am. Another will occur on May 16, 2022.

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