Planetarium offers free enhanced viewing of ‘super wolf blood moon’

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Sullivan, who objects to the recent trend of naming ordinary full moons and celestial events with words like "super" and "blood", said there is, however, a legitimately interesting lunar event coming: a total eclipse. But approximately once a year, as the moon travels along its tilted axis, it ends up directly behind Earth and is thrust into near darkness. This is known as the blood moon. It is the first total eclipse visible in North America in three years.

As NPR's Rebecca Hersher has reported, the moon will get its shadowy revenge in a few years: "There will be solar eclipses visible from parts of the contiguous US on October 14, 2023, and April 8, 2024".

As for full-moon supermoons, this will be the first of three this year.

The super blood wolf moon eclipse will occur at 12:12 a.m. ET on January 21, but you'll be able to watch the moon turn from white to orange in the hours beforehand.

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What Carolinians will see is a "blood red" colored moon that appears larger and brighter than normal on the horizon, according to AccuWeather.com. The Earth blocks sunlight from reaching the Moon, which causes the Moon to glow red as the only light reflected from the lunar surface is refracted by the Earth's atmosphere.

Total eclipses of the Moon are perfectly safe to look at, don't require special viewing equipment, and are visible all over one hemisphere of planet Earth.

The red effect is due to Earth's atmosphere. The last supermoon/lunar eclipse occurred in 1982. It could also take on little to no color, he said. But when the sun comes in at an angle - at sunset, sunrise or from the perspective of the moon on the other side of Earth - the sun's reddish light becomes dominant.

Lastly, the January full moon is known as a Wolf Moon, in Native American tradition.

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The total eclipse will begin in the Central time zone at 10:41 p.m. and reach totality at 11:13 p.m., ending at 11:43 p.m.

Amateur astronomers can get a stellar view of this weekend's upcoming Super Blood Wolf Moon thanks to some help from the pros at the Rothney Observatory.

According to the Irish Astronomical Association, which is based in Northern Ireland, you won't need any special telescope to observe the eclipse, but a pair of binoculars will allow you to view the changing colours as it develops.

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