What is a 'Super Blood Wolf Moon' and where can you see it?

Stargazers in North and South America, parts of Europe and North Africa should catch a glimpse, but sadly the spectacle won't be seen in the Middle East or Asia

Here comes a total lunar eclipse and Supermoon, all wrapped into one.

The Moon, Earth and Sun will line up this weekend for the only total lunar eclipse this year and next. At the same time, the Moon will be at its closest to Earth in its elliptic orbit, and appear slightly bigger and brighter than usual - a Supermoon.

"This one is particularly good," Patrick Hartigan, astrophysicist at Rice University in Texas, told the Associated Press.

"It not only is a Supermoon and it's a total eclipse, but the total eclipse also lasts pretty long. It's about an hour."

The whole eclipse starts Sunday night or early Monday, depending on location, and will take about three hours.

If the skies are clear, the entire eclipse will be visible in North and South America, as well as Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Portugal and the French and Spanish coasts. The rest of Europe, as well as Africa, will have partial viewing before the Moon sets.

At times, the Moon will look red because of sunlight scattering off Earth's atmosphere. That's why an eclipsed Moon is sometimes known as a 'Blood Moon'. In January, the first full Moon of the year is also sometimes known as the 'Wolf Moon' or great spirit Moon.

So the upcoming lunar eclipse will be a 'Super Blood Wolf Moon'.

The Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand are out of luck. But they had prime viewing last year, when two total lunar eclipses occurred.

The next total lunar eclipse won't be until May 2021.


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