Rare Super Blood Moon eclipse to give stargazers triple treat

James Marshall
January 3, 2019

January is set to be an interesting month for budding astronomers, with meteor showers sweeping across the skies, and a rare "super blood wolf moon" to take in.

During the upcoming eclipse in January, the total eclipse is expected to last one hour and two minutes.

The January full moon was nicknamed the "wolf moon" - and occasionally the "old moon" - by Native American tribes after wolves that howled outside as they hunted for food in mid-winter.

A NASA image of a "blood moon" blushing red. While much less dramatic than the spectacular sight of a total eclipse, the moon will partially cover the sun for up to a minute and 43 seconds.

A total eclipse occurs as the Moon passes through the centre of Earth's darkest shadow - the umbra.

To see the eclipse, you'll also need to be in Japan, Korea or just the right part of Siberia, northeast China, Mongolia or Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

Others include the Eta Aquarids meteor shower - a shooting-star display made up of debris from Halley's Comet - in May, and the Perseid meteor shower in August.

According to The Sky website, next month will kick off with the Quantrids meteor shower (Jan. 3-4), followed by a partial solar eclipse January 6.

Early on January 22, Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest objects in the sky (after the sun and the moon) will appear side by side.

Put them all together and you get a "super blood wolf moon" that will be viewable for about an hour in the western hemisphere late January 20 or the early morning hours of January 21 in western Europe.

A stargazer waits for the meteor shower to begin.

According to NASA, we can expect a new moon two days before the meteor shower. The blue moon will be visible on May 18, 2019. "Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight".

"The extra full moon of the season is known as a blue moon", the website says. It turns out that the moon did appear bluish in 1883 after the volcano Krakatoa erupted.

Mercury will make a rare pass in front of the sun on November 11 - one of the 13 times in a century.

Supermoons typically appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than the average moon seen in the sky each night, Dr. Noah Petro, a research scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, previously told Fox News.

A striking celestial phenomenon as Mercury makes the transit across the Sun. The transit will begin at 7:34 a.m. ET (6:04 pm IST) - likely to last around six hours. See the "mole" on the sun's face with the help of telescopes and solar filters. Well, now South Asia and South America will enjoy a day of no sun.

In the late afternoon of July 2, a total solar eclipse will occur over southern parts of Chile and Argentina, and parts of the South Pacific.

A total lunar eclipse will be visible on January 21.

2019 will close on a high note with the glorious "Ring Of Fire". The celestial pairing between the waxing crescent moon and Venus will be visible even to urban sky-watchers under light-polluted skies, who will be able to see the pretty pair hanging low in the southwestern sky at dusk. February's full moon will also be considered a supermoon.

"Full Moons can occur at any point along the Moon's elliptical path, but when a Full Moon occurs at or near the perigee, it looks slightly larger and brighter than a typical Full Moon".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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