Total lunar eclipse: Super Wolf Blood Moon visible in the Netherlands
This Monday, January 21, marks the last lunar eclipse of the decade and the only Super Wolf Blood Moon of the period. It seems as though the Dutch weather might hold long enough for us to see it too, as the forecast gives a high chance of clear skies.
What is a Super Wolf Blood Moon?
Well, a Super Wolf Blood Moon occurs when three astral events occur at the same time, namely a Super Moon, Wolf Moon and Blood Moon. The Moon is given the name Super Moon when a full moon comes within 90 percent of its closest approach to Earth. As the Moon is so close to Earth, it appears larger in the sky than usual.
The red colour, and thus the name Blood Moon, comes from the lunar eclipse. This occurs when the Moon, Earth and Sun align, with the moon behind the Earth, in its shadow. The Earth thus cuts off the moon’s light supply.
However, light from the sun is refracted around the Earth and when it reaches the Moon, it gives it a reddish glow. The reason it is red is because the light has a long wavelength. A Wolf Moon is the name given to the first full moon in January.
When and how can you see the Super Wolf Blood Moon?
This Monday, if the weather sticks to the forecast, you’ll be able to see the Super Wolf Blood Moon early in the morning. The eclipse will begin around 3.30am and the Moon will be completely eclipsed around 5.40am.
The total lunar eclipse will last for about an hour and at 6.45am the Sun’s rays will start directly reaching the Moon. The lunar eclipse will be over at around 8.50am. If you want to see this phenomenon, make sure you wrap up very warm, as temperatures of -2C at sea and -6C inland are expected.
The Moon will be pretty low in the sky, so to have a chance of seeing it, make sure you have a free line of sight to the western horizon. You will be able to see the eclipse with the naked eye, but if you have binoculars, take them out of the drawer for a better view.
Lastly, pick a time to see the eclipse, the first or second half (3.30am – 6am or 6.30am onwards). You’ll see the same thing, but obviously in reverse in the second half of the eclipse. This will save you being out in the cold for hours on end.
Thumb: Marco Tedaldi