Archive for the ‘Lunar Eclipse’ Category

Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse
January 9, 2019

This sequence taken January 31, 2018 of the total lunar eclipse. Pic by: Phoenix New Times

We have an incredible sight to behold Sunday night January 20th. It’s the Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse! And its the first time in three years the entire United States can see the total lunar eclipse. This unique names comes from a variety of factors.

It’s a supermoon because the full moon is within 90% of its closest possible distance to Earth. On January 20th the moon is 222,274 miles from Earth with the moon’s orbital range from 221,681 miles (perigee) to 252,6222 miles (apogee) this year.  Because of the proximity to Earth supermoons appear bigger and brighter than an average full moon.

An example of what 7% bigger across and 13% bigger in area than average looks like. Courtesy: Sky & Telescope

Total lunar eclipses are called blood moons because the moon turns a dark red as it enters Earth’s shadow. The reason the moon appears this color during totality is because the only light that is able to get to the surface of the moon is red. Imagine being on the moon and looking up at Earth during an eclipse. At this moment you are seeing every sunrise and sunset on Earth. The red ring around Earth is what is refracted to the surface of the moon.

The January full moon is known as a “wolf moon” named after wolves who howl more in their breeding season.

Here is what you need to know the night of the 20th. The partial eclipse begins at 7:34pm with the moon appearing high in the northern sky. The eclipse lasts for almost three and a half hours with totality 1 hour and 3 minutes.  That’s plenty of time, with clear skies, to see the blood moon. Here are your eclipse times on the west coast (PST).

The lunar eclipse begins the moment the moon’s leading edge slips into the penumbra. The penumbra is the area of partial shadow where part of the sun is still visible.

Penumbral shading becomes deeper as the moon moves toward the first partial phase, which begins when the moon’s leading edge enters Earth’s umbra. The umbra is the innermost and darkest part of a shadow, where the light from the sun is completely blocked by the Earth. When the moon is within Earth’s umbral cone, no direct sunlight falls on its surface.

Totality starts when the trailing edge of the moon enters the umbra.

This is a picture I took from the September 27, 2015 eclipse from Universal Studios, it was the last time everyone in the U.S. could see a lunar eclipse.

This is from last January’s Blue Blood Lunar Eclipse. It’s also a good example how our phones don’t take good pictures or eclipses.

January 20th will be the final time a lunar eclipse and a supermoon occur at the same time until May 2021.

If you do capture a great picture I’d love to see it. Please tag me @anthonynbcla on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  You can also send your eclipse pictures to Isee@nbcla.com.

The Blue Blood Supermoon: Wednesday’s Total Lunar Eclipse
January 17, 2018

Eclipse-montage-SW-1

This sequence taken during the last total lunar eclipse on Sept. 28, 2015. Pic by: Sean Walker

Get ready for a spectacular ride to work Wednesday, Jan. 31. The Blue Blood Supermoon will only be visible to people along the west coast and Mountain time zone. It is a strange name, but it fits. It’s a blue moon, which is the second full moon in one month. It’s a blood moon — a total lunar eclipse. And it’s a supermoon, when the moon is at its closest distance to Earth in its elliptical path. This is the first total lunar eclipse in more than two years for North America. There are two elements to this eclipse that will make the view spectacular.

2016_WEBMonthyPrecip

First, the moon looks larger the closer it is to the horizon because of what is called the ‘moon illusion.’ This eclipse occurs while the moon is setting. Being lower on the horizon and being able to compare it to other objects close to Earth should make for some outstanding pictures for those with zoom lenses.

Second, this eclipse is occurring during a supermoon. Supermoons appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter than an average full moon because it is occurring when the moon is closest to Earth. The combination of these two factors will make for an incredible sight.

An example of what 7% bigger across and 13% bigger in area than average looks like. Courtesy: Sky & Telescope

The lunar eclipse begins the moment the moon’s leading edge slips into the penumbra. The penumbra is the area of partial shadow where part of the sun is still visible.

Looking west/southwest – times are PST along the west coast.

Penumbral shading becomes deeper as the moon moves toward the first partial phase, which begins when the moon’s leading edge enters Earth’s umbra. The umbra is the innermost and darkest part of a shadow, where the light from the sun is completely blocked by the Earth. When the moon is within Earth’s umbral cone, no direct sunlight falls on its surface.

Totality starts when the trailing edge of the moon enters the umbra. The length of totality for this year’s lunar eclipse will be 1 hour 16 minutes, slightly longer than the one in 2015.

screen shot 2015-09-13 at 9.13.59 am.png

The moon is a dark red as it enters Earth’s shadow.  The reason the moon appears a blood red during totality is because the only light that is able to get to the surface of the moon is red.  Imagine being on the moon and looking up at Earth during an eclipse. At that moment you are seeing every sunrise and sunset on Earth. The red ring around Earth is what is refracted to the surface of the moon.

Some of us will be driving to work during the eclipse. The rest of us will have to get up a early. Here is a time table for the west coast. Totality begins at 4:51 a.m. and lasts through 6:08 a.m. The moon will be setting almost due west.

Anthony_Misc_4

Pacific Standard Time (MST is different)

I’d love to see your pictures. Please share by tagging @anthonynbcla on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  You can also send them to Isee@nbcla.com.

IMG_0156

This is a picture I took from the September 2015 eclipse from Universal Studios

The last time this lunar trifecta occurred was December 30, 1982.

The 1866 date that has been going around on the internet was not a Supermoon.

The next blue blood moon will be in 2028 but like 1866 it won’t be a Supermoon.

Our next lunar trifecta will be January 31, 2037 and it will be a similar set up to what we are seeing Wednesday morning.  (favoring the west coast.)