How to Watch the ‘Super Blood Wolf Moon’ Even If the Weather’s Crappy

On January 20, a total lunar eclipse coincides with a supermoon. Here’s how to catch it if you have cloudy skies.
January 18, 2019, 5:19pm
Images of the July 2018 total lunar eclipse.​ Image: Bernd Thaller
Images of the July 2018 total lunar eclipse. Image: Bernd Thaller

On Sunday, a special total eclipse of the Moon will be visible over North and South America, and western Europe. Skywatchers with clear skies can catch it starting at 11:41 PM ET on January 20.

Popularly known as the “Super Blood Wolf Moon,” this will be the last total lunar eclipse until May 26, 2021. Though its colorful name may conjure up visions of moonlit werewolf rampages, it actually refers to the characteristics of this rare celestial event.

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A total lunar eclipse is known as a “blood Moon” because when Earth casts its shadow on the lunar surface, it appears tinted red to the human eye. The “super” part derives from the eclipse coinciding with a supermoon. Supermoons occur when the Moon is at (or near) its closest point to Earth in its orbit during a Full Moon, which makes it appear larger in the sky than it normally would.

A “Wolf Moon” is just the term for a Full Moon that happens in January, according to Farmer’s Almanac.

No matter what you call it, it’s a great excuse to check out our solar system’s epic dynamics in motion. But as big blizzards roll in across the Northeast US, and clouds and rain obscure views elsewhere, it’s worth having a backup plan for this celestial event.

We’ve put together the below list of livestreams that will be available from various observatories, space networks, and individual photographers across several locations. Happy Moon-gazing.

The Virtual Telescope Project

Founded by Italian astronomer Gianluca Masi and run by Bellatrix Astronomical Observatory, the Virtual Telescope Project pools online livestreams from observatories around the world, including Rome.

Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles is hosting a viewing event on Sunday, which includes a livestream of the eclipse from the top of Mount Hollywood.

timeanddate.com

The timeanddate.com livestream will include commentary from space science communicator Graham Jones.

Space & Universe Network

This large YouTube community for space enthusiasts has its own livestream for the eclipse.

Astronomy Live Stream

Watch the eclipse from Denver, Colorado at this link, which will likely be one of many livestreams filmed by individual astrophotographers, as opposed to observatories or institutions.

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