About The Total Lunar Eclipse, January 20/21, 2019


Lunar Eclipse

Join AWB celebrate our moon as a total lunar eclipse graces the skies of the entire Western Hemisphere on January 20-21. Skywatchers across North and Central America will see the full Moon glide into the Earth's shadow and turn orange-red during the evening hours of the 20th, while observers in South America, western Europe and Africa will witness the lunar disappearing spectacle in the pre-dawn hours of the 21st.

lunar eclipse diagram 0Lunar eclipses occur when the sun, Earth, and moon line up and the Earth’s shadow is cast on the moon’s disk. During totality, the moon passes through the dark shadow cone of the Earth, known as the umbra and appears a shade of ‘blood red’. This stunning coloration occur as sunlight travels through Earth’s own dust filled air, resulting in the Moon glowing reddish – the same reason we see the sun turn red during sunsets. The Moon's color can vary significantly from one eclipse to the next and its exact color can vary from one eclipse to the next depending on the amount of particles in our planet’s atmosphere.

The Super Moon Phenomenon

While all lunar eclipses are beautiful and entrancing, this one will appear to be a little grander than usual. The moon will be at its perigee (closest to the Earth), making it seem a bit larger in the sky, a phenomenon some media refer to as a "Super Moon." This will be the first of three full supermoons in a row over the next three months until March.

Also worth noting is that this month’s full moon is known as the Wolf Moon by some northern cultures since this is the time of year when wolves howl as their breeding season begins. Hence the media’s over-dramatic naming of this event as the Super Wolf Blood Moon.

Post a Member Report about this Program

Share your activities with others around the world by posting a Member Report for the worldwide astronomy community to see! Your reports help Astronomers Without Borders show sponsors how successful our programs are, too!

When and Where to Watch

The entire eclipse lasts nearly 3.5 hours, starting with the partial eclipse phase where the first hint of the Earth's shadow hits the moon at 3:34 UT and ends at 6:51 UT with the last bit of Earth’s shadow slips off the moon’s disk. Maximum eclipse – where the moon is at its deepest coloration, occurs at 5:12 UT, with totality lasting a full 63 minutes from 4:41 UT to 5:44 UT.
Check out specific times of the eclipse for your part of the via TimeandDate.com

Visibility Lunar Eclipse 2019 01 21 thumbClick on image for a pdf version.

Highlights of the Total Lunar Eclipse on January 20–21, 2019
Penumbra first visible? 3:10 7:10 p.m. 10:10 p.m.
Partial eclipse begins 3:34 7:34 p.m. 10:34 p.m.
Total eclipse begins 4:41 8:41 p.m. 11:41 p.m.
Middle of totality 5:12 9:12 p.m. 12:12 a.m.
Total eclipse ends 5:44 9:44 p.m. 12:44 a.m.
Partial eclipse ends 6:51 10:51 p.m. 1:51 a.m.
Penumbra last visible? 7:15 11:15 p.m. 2:15 a.m.

Join in the Astronomers Without Borders lunar eclipse party! We will be featuring special guests and will have multiple live feeds of the eclipse from around the world including VirtualTelescope in Italy, iTelescope in Florida and the Exploratorium in California amongst many others.

While this stunning sky event is visible to the naked eye, eclipses always attract attention, making them a great opportunity to take telescopes and binoculars to the public as the Moon turns red, show them a few other celestial objects, and share your knowledge.

Take videos and photos of your event and post them as a Member Report. Your report will be featured by AWB and shared with the world!