This weekend nearly all of North and South America will be treated to a spectacular sight: a total lunar eclipse.
What makes this one so special is that it will occur when the moon is closest to the Earth, making it appear larger in the sky. That’s why it’s a SUPER moon.
When Will The Lunar Eclipse Occur?
The lunar eclipse starts at 9:36:29 pm EST when the moon passes into the penumbra. There won’t be any visible change in the color of the moon until it starts to pass into the umbra at 10:33:54 pm EST. That’s when the moon passes into the umbra, the darkest part of the Earth’s shadow.
The full eclipse begins at 11:41:17 pm EST and will last for an hour! During the full eclipse, the moon will turn red. That’s why it’s a BLOOD moon.
Time and Date has a full schedule of the lunar eclipse if you want to know the exact time of particular events.
Dances With Wolves
So why is this a Super Blood Wolf moon? Full moons are often given names (like hurricanes, typhoons, and snowstorms). The first full moon of the year is a WOLF moon.
According to the Famers’ Almanac, Native Americans could hear wolves howling during a full moon around the first of the year and the name stuck.
How Can I See the Lunar Eclipse?
All you need to do to observe a lunar eclipse is to walk outside and look up! No special eyewear is needed.
If you have a pair of binoculars try looking at the leading or trailing edge of the Earth’s shadow as it passes across the surface of the moon.
For people living in North or South America, the only thing that would prevent you from seeing the lunar eclipse tomorrow night would be bad weather. If the weather is bad (like it will be here in NY) you can watch the lunar eclipse online. There’s a live stream embedded below.
Sometimes animals will act strangely during a total lunar eclipse. Listen to hear how dogs, foxes, and other nocturnal animals react to the eclipse.
There may also be other objects visible in the sky that you wouldn’t normally see during a full moon. Because the brightness of a full moon is reduced during this time, you may see stars or other deep-sky objects that a normal full moon would wash-out.
Astronomical events are great teaching opportunities. It’s also a good reason to let your kids stay up past their bedtime. Take this opportunity to share a special event with your kids and slip in a little learning as well!
If you’re interested in learning more, you can find more information about this lunar eclipse and other astronomical events at TimeAndDate.com.
Fun fact: lunar and solar eclipses come in pairs. The first person to leave a comment below with the date of the first eclipse this year will receive a sticker of the podcast album art.