NEW YORK (Reuters) – US experts have pledged promises of a spectacular lunar eclipse on Sunday (January 20), except for one: clear skies.
Star watchers from Los Angeles to New York will be eyeing the sky for the eclipse, known as a super-blood wolf moon, due to appear at 11.41 local time (1241 p.m.).
Although it is a total eclipse, the moon will never be completely dark, but it will assume a copper-red glow – called the blood moon. It is also a full moon that is especially close to Earth, called supermoon.
And since appearing in January, when wolves howled outside the villages, it gained the wolf's moon name, according to The Farmers Almanac.
But no matter how perfectly the stars line up for this stellar event, the excitement or disappointment of the night really depends on one thing: the weather.
If the sky is clear on Sunday night, the spectacular total lunar eclipse will be visible to the naked eye.
Unlike a solar eclipse, which requires eye protection to safely take advantage of the view, no extra measure needs to be taken to observe the lunar eclipse without danger.
If cloud cover ruins visibility, there is always a view on the internet.
"Anyone who gets cloudy can get on the Internet and see the view of our aerial cameras around the world," said Andrew Fazekas, a spokesman for AstronomersWithoutBorders.org.
The next chance for Americans to see a total lunar eclipse is 2022.
The red blood moon tone is the result of sunlight traveling through the dusty and polluted atmosphere of the Earth, Fazekas said. The shorter, more flexible blue wavelengths of light are scattered outside the earth's shadow, and the longer, less collapsible red wavelengths are refracted toward the moon.
The best view of the full one-hour eclipse will be from North and South America, with 2.8 billion people able to see it from the Western Hemisphere, Europe, West Africa and northern Russia.