Stargazers Share Images of ‘Super Blood Wolf Moon’

22 January, 2019, 20:25 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • Bright skies tonight for what could be a spectacular lunar eclipse

The total lunar eclipse, which happens less than once per year on average, coincided at the same time as a supermoon, which occurs when the moon is full and closest to Earth in orbit.

A picture taken on January 21, 2019 in Duisburg, Germany, shows a view of the Super Blood Moon above an industrial plant during a lunar eclipse. The moon's orbital path around the Earth takes place at an angle of 5 degrees to Earth's orbital plane around the sun, otherwise known as the ecliptic.

NASA estimates there will be 85 total lunar eclipses this century. During a lunar eclipse, the moon passes through two distinct parts of earth's shadow. The term "penumbral" refers to a situation in which the moon just skirts into the lightest part of the Earth's shadow, meaning the eclipse is just barely visible.

Everyone could see the supermoon but the entire eclipse was visible only in North and South America, and across the Atlantic to western and northern Europe. A full moon occurs every 29.5 days when Earth is directly aligned between the sun and the moon.

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"The Sun's red light is scattered much less by air, and is bent by Earth's atmosphere in a process called refraction, travelling all the way through it to light up the Moon's surface". The full moon was fully obscured before lighting up again with a faint red glow. The moniker "wolf moon" was given because it appeared in January, when hungry wolves would howl outside villages in days gone by. Its other name is the Old Moon.

The moon during the January 21, 2019 total lunar eclipse over the skyline of Frankfurt.

Because, of course, lunar eclipses aren't the only celestial shows in the next few years.

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