A spectacular “super moon” combined with a total lunar eclipse will rise over the nation just before midnight on Jan. 20, bringing a series of strange optical effects, according to NASA.
The hour-long full eclipse will be visible across the entirety of North America that night, a period during which it will look red, say experts.
“It’s the first full moon of 2019 and the first lunar eclipse of 2019. Plus, it’s the year’s first super moon, meaning the moon is nearly at its closest to Earth for this month, as the eclipse takes place,” says EarthSky.org.
It will also be the last full lunar eclipse until May 26, 2021, according to OnlyInYourState.com.
How much your state will see of it depends on the weather Jan. 20 and 21. AccuWeather is predicting it could be a cloudy night in the Carolinas, with possible rain and a low in the mid 30s.
A full total lunar eclipse occurs when the earth’s shadow totally blocks the sun’s light from reflecting off the moon, according to NASA.
“Throughout history, eclipses have inspired awe and even fear,” reports Space.com, “especially when total lunar eclipses turned the moon blood-red, an effect that terrified people who had no understanding of what causes an eclipse.”
In the Carolinas, the earth’s shadow will start edging across the moon at 9:36 p.m. Jan. 20, according to TimeandDate.com. The total eclipse begins at 11:41 p.m. and the maximum eclipse comes at 12:12 a.m., ending 12:43 a.m., says the site.
“It (the moon) actually doesn’t turn dark: it turns red,” according to Space Tourism Guide. “This is due to the way light bends around earth as it moves toward the moon. This is why a lunar eclipse is often called a blood moon.”
A Jan. 7 article Forbes magazine noted that, depending on where you are, the moon might also look copper colored or “orange-reddish.”