NASA says the darkening will be caused when the earth's shadow totally blocks the sun's light from reflecting off the moon The red color "is due to the way light bends around earth as it moves toward the moon", according to Space Tourism Guide.
A relatively rare celestial treat may be visible this weekend to Washington state residents, and anyone else on the dark side of the Earth with a clear sky.
Miss this eclipse and we here in Montreal will have to wait a few years - until May 15, 2022 for the next chance to see the moon turn blood red before our eyes.
Yes, there will be a full moon on January 20, according to Woody Sullivan, University of Washington astronomer and professor emeritus.
"Wolf Moon" - a Native American term used to describe the first full moon of the year.
But none of that makes it special.
And the eclipse will occur when the Moon is at its closest point to Earth - making it a supermoon, so it will appear 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter.
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We can see one about every two years on average, Sullivan said.
The science centre will be offering extended hours Sunday to ring in the total lunar eclipse, the first of its kind fully visible in Edmonton since 2015. Totality is expected to start a little over an hour later, around 11:43 p.m., and hold for an hour.
For those who can't get outside or have their view blocked by clouds, the website timeanddate.com also has what Sullivan calls a surprisingly accurate and interesting simulator of what the eclipse will look like, as well as a livestream feed to watch the eclipse in real time.
"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.
Joel 2:31, "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and bad day of the Lord come".
This is when the "blood" part occurs, when the moon becomes a reddish-orange ball. It could also turn a coppery red, which Sullivan described "as the most handsome thing". It all depends on how much dust is floating around in Earth's atmosphere at the time. Some sunlight reaches the Earth's atmosphere, which envelops the moon and gives it the rich colour. The "Super Moon" refers to a full moon that occurs when the moon is the closest distance to the earth. The next extreme supermoon, when the moon is as close to the Earth as it can be, will be January 21, 2023.