"Blood moon" visible in Saint Lucia this weekend

James Marshall
January 20, 2019

The moon is passing through the Earth's shadow on Sunday night.

Throughout history, lunar eclipses and red-colored moons have inspired fear and awe.

So what is a super blood wolf moon? That's what makes this lunar eclipse so exciting. The Bishop Museum says the moon is in the full shadow of the earth shortly after it rises.

About 6:30 p.m., the penumbra or lighter outer shadow of Earth will begin falling on the moon.

He said: "The amount of sunlight that hits the Moon is much reduced, and what sunlight does hit the Moon has to pass through the Earth's atmosphere".

The event, Kanipe said, unfolds in stages.

Starting at half past eight, the shadow will start to encroach on the moon, with the body in full eclipse by about 9:45 p.m.

A rare total lunar eclipse on January 20 combining with supermoon will result in a phenomenon, that the astrophysicist call a "super blood wolf moon". "And every time I go back and think about that, it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling".

Lunar eclipses always happen at a full Moon as this is when it moves behind the Earth and into line with the Earth and Sun but most of the time no eclipse takes place because the e Moon's orbit is slightly tilted so it normally passes a little above or below the Earth's shadow.

The event is the last chance for skywatchers in the United Kingdom to see a total lunar eclipse in its entirety until 2029 - weather permitting.

Astronomy and Astrophysics researchers at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), said on Saturday that there was nothing to fear over the expected total lunar eclipse on Monday.

Kanipe threw some shade, however, on the "super" aspect of the event's billing. The "super" part comes from the fact that the Moon will be near its closest approach to the Earth - when it will be marginally bigger in the sky than usual. To see the moon go from this attractive, bright, white object in the sky to this dim, blood-coloured thing probably was quite terrifying and inexplicable. "People get excited about meteor showers, too, but they usually don't perform as advertised".

"We had a total lunar eclipse on January 31, 2018", said Jim Greenhouse, space science director at the museum. On that occasion, however, totality occurred just after moonrise, so it was low in the east just after sunset. She is a member of the Coal Creek Canyon Sky Watchers, as well as the wife of space journalist Leonard David, whose next book, scheduled for a May release, is "Moon Rush: The New Space Race".

Whether you watch this weekend's lunar eclipse by webcast or in person, Dundee has some tips about what to look for. No program is being offered in the planetarium itself.

"This particular lunar eclipse will be more of a spectacle".

"Now we understand these things better, but they're still handsome aesthetic events taking place in the sky".

In Pennsylvania, the York County Astronomical Society has invited the public to peer through its observatory's telescopes for a close-up look. The facility, located southwest of Calgary, will be holding a special public viewing event from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m.

Unlike a solar eclipse, the lunar eclipse is safe to view with a pair of binoculars or can be seen with the naked eye.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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