A lunar supersighting: A Super Blood Wolf Moon

Sun, Earth and Moon all align

Coming to a sky near you! Super Blood Wolf Moon

It may sound like a bad movie that you aren’t interested in, but look up on January 20-21 and you may get to see this rare occurrence.

You won’t need any special gear to see this moon, just head outside and take a look into the sky. Before you go- make sure you check the weather at WLBT First Alert Weather and dress accordingly. Looks like you may need a few blankets!

If you are anything like me, you are probably thinking -Super Blood Wolf Moon- WHAT? So, our friends over at Ark-La-Tex weekend broke it on down for us:

Super Moon – The moon will be at its closest point to Earth in its orbit. (Technically called perigee). The brightness of the moon increases almost 30% and appears 14% larger than at apogee (where the moon is at its farthest point from Earth).

Blood Moon – This happens during a total lunar eclipse. The sun, Earth and moon will align perfectly. The moon passes through the shadow (umbra) of the earth. Wayward beams of sunlight filter through our atmosphere. The filter allows the red light to reach the surface of the moon. If there is a lot of dust in the air, then the light is a darker red.

Wolf Moon – This is the name given to the full moon in January. It comes from Native American and medieval Europe as hungry wolves howl into the night lamenting the lack of food.

Lunar Eclipse
Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Now that you have a better idea of what it means, here is a timeline starting on Sunday, January 20:

  • 9:30 pm (ish)- the moon will start to move into the Earth’s shadow. You will see the moon ‘disappear’ as it continues to move into the shade.
  • 10:40 pm (ish)- the total eclipse begins and the moon will appear red. You will have about an hour to witness the Super Blood Wolf Moon.
  • 12:00 am (ish)- the moon will pass out of the shadow with the partial eclipse ending at 12:51am on Monday, January 21.

For more information on this ~Super Blood Wolf Moon~ check out NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory website.

The next total lunar will be coming to town on May 26, 2021.