Total lunar eclipse meets supermoon Sunday night

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The Super Blood Wolf Moon will be visible in the early hours of Monday morning.

Lunar eclipses occur when Earth passes directly between the sun and the moon, forming a ideal line. There will be food trucks as well as an "astrophotography" station for anyone interested in taking a photo of the eclipse with their phone; photographers with DSLRs are also welcome.

It could become a so-called "blood moon" and take on a reddish cast, he said.

Viewers in the region should get a clear look at the eclipse as it begins around 10:30 p.m.

First, let's look at the "blood" part of the name.

Unlike 2017's solar eclipse, the eclipse will be visible with the naked eye and is safe to look at directly.

This moon will be of the "super" variety because it will be closer to earth, making it appear bigger than usual.

The process then goes in reverse as the moon begins its exit through the umbra and eventually the penumbra.

Finally, the "wolf moon" is just another name for the first full moon of the year.

A year ago saw a "super blue moon" total lunar eclipse, but a mostly cloudy day made for a spotty view at best. Sadly most of New Zealand will miss out - with the eclipse being only visible in the top half of the North Island at moon set, Nasa predicts. You can also plan on around one to five super blood moons each decade, but they only fall in January three times this century (the third and final 21st-century super blood wolf moon barely qualifies, since it falls at the very end of the month on Jan. 31, 2037).

Joel 2:31, "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and bad day of the Lord come". Green and blue don't make it through, scattered away by the particles in the Earth's atmosphere. When this happens during a full moon, non-astronomers refer to the development as a "super moon", since the celestial body will appear slightly larger in the sky.

Parents "can keep their kids up maybe a little bit later", said, Hartigan, who will catch the lunar extravaganza from Houston. But that last part is because of something much cooler: an eclipse.

For thousands of years the beauty and mystery surrounding this disappearing moon act has fascinated cultures around the world, and even today it still amazes.

Acts 2:20, "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come".

The next total lunar eclipse won't be until May 2021.

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