The Best Lunar Eclipse for Years Is Happening Tonight

Share

"This supermoon will be the first in a series of three full supermoons - the other dates will be very 19 2019 and March 21, 2019".

Those that miss this eclipse will need to wait until May 26, 2021, for the next opportunity to witness a total lunar eclipse.

Colorado will see a rare Super Wolf Blood Moon over the weekend.

Click "play" to hear the audio version of this story.

And as the eclipse will occur when the moon is at its closest point to Earth, it will appear 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter - making it a supermoon.

Informational videos, posters, and handouts will explain the term "supermoon", what causes eclipses, and why eclipses make the moon turn red.

While the eclipse will already be happening by the time the moon rises for some residents of Alaska and Hawaii, people in the rest of the country will have a chance to see every stage of the event, depending on local weather conditions.

When objects enter the round umbral shadow (white circle) produced by the Earth's globe, direct sunlight cannot reach them - but reddened light, which has been refracted by Earth's atmosphere, can.

First, it's a wolf moon, a traditional name for full moons in winter.

The final stages will begin shortly after that with the whole astronomical event wrapping up shortly before 1 a.m. Monday morning.

Total lunar eclipses on average come about once a year; however, from Sunday night, January 20, through Monday morning, January 21, both the North and South American continents will get the see the sun, Earth, and moon line up perfectly to show the entirety of the eclipse for the first time in almost two decades.

While solar eclipses are risky to view directly, the light from lunar eclipses is much fainter and so is completely safe to view without special equipment.

If the skies are clear, the entire eclipse will also be visible in North and South America, as well as Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Portugal and the French and Spanish coasts.

Tonight's almost-full moon reminds us ...

The moon will be in eclipse starting at about 7:30 p.m. Denver time.

This will be the first and only total lunar eclipse of 2019. But if you looked up, you'd see a ring of light in the darkened sky, as sunlight illuminated the rim of atmosphere surrounding Earth's disk, according to the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

Maximum eclipse is early Monday at 12:12 a.m.

This eclipse has been referred to as a "supermoon".

Earthsky.org says you can still watch it through the Virtual Telescope Project (just be ready to click away a few pop-up ads).

Share