Lunar Eclipse, January 2019

January 2019 Lunar Eclipse: On January 20th, 2019, we will witness a Lunar Eclipse. Although we
missed the longest Lunar eclipse of the century a few months back, this next one will be all ours.
(All of North and South America)


Like anything else, the Earth has its own shadow. When the Moon is full, it typically passes above or
below Earth’s shadow. But since the Moon’s orbit is tilted several degrees off of Earth’s axis, it
sometimes floats through Earth’s shadow. When this happens, the entire night side of Earth sees a
Lunar eclipse. The Earth’s shadow is larger than the Moon, which means that the total eclipse phase
can last upwards of an hour.


Earth’s atmosphere also happens to act as a lense for sunlight. From the Moon’s perspective during a
Lunar eclipse, the Earth blocks out the Sun. But on the edge of Earth, the Sun’s light can be seen.
But that light has to go through Earth’s atmosphere, which gives it a red tinge. The same effect is at
play during sunset, and from the Moon’s perspective it’s sunset on every edge of the Earth at once
during an eclipse. This is what gives the Moon its red color, and why many call a Lunar eclipse a
“Blood Moon.”


For this eclise, the partial stage will begin at around 9:33 PM on Sunday, January 20th. From
this point, a shadow will grow on the Moon until at 10:41 PM when the Moon will become totally
eclipsed. The Moon will remain fully eclipsed for about an hour and will end at 11:43 PM. The last of
the partial eclipse phase will end at 12:50 AM. As long as the skies are clear, we’ll be in for a good
show!
Lunar Eclipse. Image Credit: NASA

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