SALT LAKE CITY — A “super blood wolf moon eclipse” is coming.
What’s going on: That may sound like something out of a supernatural science fiction novel or a “Twilight” reboot, but the moon is the result of a unique set of events that will begin Sunday, Jan. 20, and finish on Monday, Jan. 21, USA Today reports.
- “This type of eclipse happens when the moon passes fully into the shadow of Earth,” according to USA Today. “Beyond that, despite all the hullabaloo over the various names, there's still only one moon. There's no separate super, blood, wolf or anything else moon.”
So what’s the deal?: You’ll need to be awake late into the night to see this sort of moon.
- It begins with a lunar eclipse, which happens when the moon and sun are on opposite sides of the planet, NASA explains. Earth will block sunlight from hitting the moon, causing Earth’s shadow to fall on the moon.
- Brian Murphy, director of Indiana's Holcomb Observatory & Planetarium and Butler University professor, told USA Today there will be a “little notch” chunked out of the moon at around 7:36 p.m. MST.
- "The moon starts to enter into the Earth's shadow in a portion called the umbra when the sun is totally blocked out," he said. "Earth is moving from right to left through the shadow."
- Then, at 8:34 p.m. MST, there’s a partial eclipse and then a full eclipse begins at 9:41 p.m. The maximum eclipse will occur at 10:12 p.m. MST on Jan. 21 and end at 10:44 p.m. MST as well.
Red moon: The moon will take on a reddish glow, making it a so-called “blood moon.”
Supermoon: But wait, there’s more. According to CNET, the moon will make its closest approach to Earth on Jan. 20, meaning it’ll appear large and more full in the sky. This is called a supermoon.
"Wolf moon": The first full moon of the year holds the nickname of “wolf moon” because people used to hear wolves howling in the night during the month, according to Time and Date.