When And How To See The Super Blood Moon Total Lunar Eclipse Of January 2019

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How To See The January 2019 Total Lunar Eclipse

Attention, budding astronomers and stargazers alike! The sky will be hosting an absolutely stunning sight this month, one that you definitely will not want to miss. 

Starting in the evening of January 20, the Earth will be able to catch a glimpse of the magnificent total lunar eclipse. This spectacular event is known by many denominations, such as a supermoon, a blood moon, a super blood moon, and our personal favorite, the wolf moon (and no, this last one has nothing to do with werewolves.)

But no matter what you like to call it, a total lunar eclipse is the kind of celestial phenomena that will quite literally take your breath away. And in January 2019, this incredible spectacle will be coming to a sky near you. So don't forget to mark your calendars, because there won't be another total lunar eclipse for over two more years. 

RELATED: How The Super Blood Wolf Moon & Total Lunar Eclipse On January 20 Will Affect Your Love Life & Relationships

You're probably curious about the details by now. When is the January 2019 super blood moon total lunar eclipse? And how can you see it? Here is all the information you need to know so you won't miss out on 2019's total lunar eclipse.

What is a total lunar eclipse?

They don't call it a blood moon for nothin'. Although the name sounds eerie, just one look at the night sky during this event will make you forget any misgivings you may have had about its spookiest moniker. 

During a total lunar eclipse, the lunar disk of the moon takes on a coppery, reddish hue, hence why its earned the title "blood moon."

One thing that makes this occurrence so breathtaking is due to the fact that even though the moon is fully submerged in the dark shadow of Earth, the planet's atmosphere actually refracts the sunlight and the red and orange wavelengths of light are passed onward until they fall on the surface of the moon. The light that is scattered from sunrises and sunsets all over the world softly lights up the moon, which is completely eclipsed. This is what creates the moon's striking color.

According to Space.com, it would actually be the opposite way around if one were to view the lunar eclipse from the moon instead of from Earth. If you were standing on the moon during the total lunar eclipse, Earth would look as if it had a red ring around it.

A full lunar eclipse's bold tint is only on display as soon as the moon enters the deepest point of Earth's shadow. The astonishing bright red, or "blood" color, is seen once the moon is completely hidden in shadow. 

Astronomer Pamela Gay revealed to Space.com that a lunar eclipse and its specific coloring can actually tell us a lot about our world.

 "Lunar eclipses ... reflect our world. 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. 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," she stated.

It's also important to note that a lunar eclipse is only possible during a full moon. This is the only time when the moon is directly opposite from the sun in Earth's sky and goes through its shadow.

What is a supermoon & wolf moon?

We now know what a blood moon is, but what about the other namesakes associated with a total lunar eclipse? 

First up is the supermoon. When a full moon has reached the point in its orbit in which it is the closest to Earth, it becomes known as a supermoon. The moon appears to be much larger and much brighter than it normally does when this occurs. There's a good reason why it's been dubbed the "super" moon, after all.

And now for what is probably this event's most intriguing name. January 2019's total lunar eclipse is also known as the wolf moon.

Although probably one of the lesser known labels for this moon, it's actually a name that dates all the way back to early colonial times and Native American times. According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, people started referring to it as the wolf moon after wolves would howl outside villages at night.

And in case you were wondering, no there will most likely not be any werewolf transformations during the upcoming full moon. 

RELATED: What Each Different Full Moon Means For Your Relationship And Love Life

When is the January 2019 super blood moon total lunar eclipse?

You'll want to plan to stay up late for this one. And mark your calendars soon, because this marvelous event is coming up this weekend. 

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The total lunar eclipse will occur from January 20-21, 2019. The entire total lunar eclipse will last for exactly one hour and two minutes. However, the peak time to see this phenomenon won't be until 12:16 a.m. Eastern time.

The whole country will be able to view the total lunar eclipse in its entirety, so you might want to remember to take a nap that day before the big event happens!

How and where can you see the total lunar eclipse?

This year's approaching total lunar eclipse will definitely be one for the books. If weather conditions are good, this event will have the opportunity to be viewable by billions of people. The Western Hemisphere, Europe, the northernmost parts of Russia, and Western Africa will be able to see the entire eclipse.

However, North America will have the prime viewing spot, especially on the East Coast where the completely eclipsed moon will reach mind-boggling heights. Those located in America will be able to see the lunar eclipse from start to finish.

It's also important to remember that although all phases of the lunar eclipse can be viewed with the naked eye, it is always recommended to use binoculars or a small telescope when viewing a celestial event such as the lunar eclipse. The entire eclipse will span five hours, but it's the totality that's the real showstopper, which is when the moon enters completely into Earth's shadow and the "blood moon" appears.

If all of this isn't enough convincing to get out and see this amazing spectacle, just know that another total lunar eclipse will not occur until May 26, 2021. So, whether you like to call it the blood moon, the wolf moon, or just the total lunar eclipse, don't miss your chance to catch sight of this radiant phenomenon.

RELATED: What The January 2019 Partial Solar Eclipse Means For Your Love Life And Relationships, According To Astrology

Sloane Solomon is a YourTango editor and writer who covers pop culture, lifestyle topics, and love and relationships.