Stargazers across the world are in for a treat this new year. On January 20 and January 21, 2019, a total lunar eclipse and the first supermoon of the new year will occur at the same time. Those across North America, South America, as well as parts of Europe and Asia will all have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of this rare phenomenon, according to CBS 17 News. This dazzling sight is sure to stun viewers across the world.
This type of eclipse only takes place once a year during a full moon. Because the first full moon in January is known as the wolf moon, this event is being called the blood wolf moon. This type of celestial occurrence can only take place when the moon and sun are located at opposite positions of the Earth, thus making it a fairly infrequent sight. The moon will slowly begin to travel through Earth’s shadow, taking on an orangish-red tint. This strange coloration is how it took on the name “blood moon.”
Stargazers around the world, get ready. 2019 will bring five eclipses, a rare planet transit, one of the best meteor showers and a super blood wolf moon … and that's not all https://t.co/m0swnrQgL2 pic.twitter.com/eWAQgj24bX
— CNN (@CNN) December 30, 2018
As if this occurrence was not already impressive enough, the moon will also reach a state of pedigree, also known as totality. The eclipse will take place just as the moon reaches the section of orbit when it is in the closest proximity to Earth, creating a supermoon. Those who look up at the sky on January 20 will notice that the moon looks noticeably larger, quite a sight to behold.
Astrologist Pamela Gay provided further insight into this phenomenon. She explained that the color of the moon is actually brought on by a combination of fire and pollution.
“A blood colored moon is created [by] ash from fires and volcanoes, dust storms and pollution all filtering sunlight as it scatters around our world,” she says. “A grey eclipse is clear skies. Our world can change the appearance of another world, and during an eclipse, the universe lets us see this color play.”
In order to gain the full experience of the eclipse, stargazers are encouraged to focus their attention on the sky at 12:12 a.m. ET on January 21. At this moment, the moon will have reached a point of total eclipse, according to Smithsonian. Even if astrology isn’t something you typically take interest in, this will be an experience you won’t want to miss. It will also be your only opportunity to view this event until 2021, the next time the lunar eclipse will circle back to the U.S.