Heads-up for Sunday, a super 'blood moon' is on the way

Heads-up for Sunday, a super 'blood moon' is on the way

The moon will start to enter the earth's shadow just after 2.30am and the maximum eclipse will happen just before 5.15am. The eclipse will begin Sunday at 6:36 p.m. As the moon passes behind Earth, Earth blocks the sun's light and completely covers the moon in its shadow. (Not that it isn't super already - we love our only natural satellite.) This recently popular but decades-old term is used to describe a full or new moon that is closest to Earth in its orbit, which is the shape of an ellipse, just like Earth's orbit is an ellipse around the sun.

This means the moon will appear slightly larger in the sky.

"There will be other total lunar eclipses between 2019 and 2032 but they will happen as the Moon sets or rises from Ireland thus spoiling the view", said editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine, David Moore.

THE first full moon of the year is often known as the Wolf Moon and, this year, it is not only a supermoon (at its closest to Earth), but there will also be a total lunar eclipse visible from North and South America, Europe and western Africa.

This is what gives the moon its reddish tinge which, while not "blood" red as its name suggests, has a copper-like colour. This is quite a contrast with the total eclipses of the Sun, where viewing can sometimes hurt your eyes, special equipment is a big help, and the best show is only visible in a narrow path. The lunar eclipse will be over at around 8.50am. Many Christians believe scripture indicates a Blood Moon is a sign from God regarding the return of Christ.

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A partial eclipse will also be visible in lead up to the total eclipse and after it is completed. And yes, he said, the first full moon of the year was reportedly called a "wolf moon" by at least one Native American tribe. Weather forecasts predict harsh weather in some areas, but there will be live-stream options available.

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. Eastern Standard Time, or shortly past 7:30 p.m. You probably won't be able to notice the difference in the size or the brightness of the moon, but it is noteworthy enough as an astronomical event.

"During totality, which will last 62 minutes, the moon will appear to glow like an eerie ball - which to the eye, and especially in binoculars and small telescopes - will appear nearly three dimensional", Joe Rao, an instructor at New York's Hayden Planetarium, wrote in a Space.com column.

The super part comes from the moon's position in orbit in relation to the earth.

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