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Rare ‘super blood Moon’ eclipse to put on a stunning display in January: What to know

The earth will experience a rare ‘super blood moon’ eclipse on Jan. 20 and Jan. 21.
(AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Stargazers will witness a trifecta of lunar events in the New Year a total lunar eclipse, a super blood Moon and a “Wolf Moon”, a nickname for a full Moon, which appears in the middle of the winter.

Millions of people in North and South America and parts of western Europe and Africa will be able to catch the rare sight during the night on 20 January to 21 January, according to National Geographic. For a few hours, the moon is giving a bright reddish glow.

“A total lunar eclipse can only happen when the Sun, Earth and Moon are perfectly aligned-anything less than perfection creates a partial lunar eclipse or no eclipse” Space.com explained.

You will not want to miss. The earth will not be a total lunar eclipse, which occurs when the entire Moon enters the Earth’s shadow, up to and including May 2021, NASA estimates.

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Here is everything you need to know about the unusual phenomenon.

When can I 2019 total lunar eclipse?Video

The 2019 total lunar eclipse will last approximately 1 hour and 2 minutes, Space.com reports. It will kick-off around 11:41 a.m. ET on Jan. 20 and a peak around 12:16 a.m. ET on Jan. 21.

The longest possible eclipse of the moon is 1 hour and 47 minutes, according to EarthSky. The longest total lunar eclipse of the last century, was on 16 July 2000 and it took 1 hours and 46.4 minutes, the space site notes.

The last total lunar eclipse took place on July 27, but it was not visible in the US

What is a “super blood moon”?

A supermoon is a new or full moon which seems to be closer than usual because it is the shortest distance of the moon is to the Earth during its orbit known as “perigee” is about 363,000 km from the Earth, NASA says.

Supermoons usually appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than the average moon seen in the sky every night, Dr. Noah Petro, a scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, earlier told Fox News. However, it is difficult to really see the difference with the naked eye.

“That is not enough to notice unless you are a very diligent moon-watcher,” Sky & Telescope magazine editor-in-chief Alan told MacRobert Space.com in 2016.

The term “blood” comes from the rusty brown-red color of the Moon appears during a total lunar eclipse.

“That is because some of the sunlight passes through the atmosphere of the Earth is curved about the edge of our planet and falls on the surface of the moon. The earth, the sky also scatters the shorter wavelengths of light (colors such as green or blue); what remains is the longer wavelength, red end of the spectrum,” Space.com states on its website.

What is a “wolf moon”?

The January full moon was the nickname of the “wolf Moon” and occasionally the “Old Moon” by the Native American tribes after the wolves cried out as they hunted for food in the middle of the winter.

“This is an age old practice, nothing new. Old people often followed the seasons by following the lunar calendar (versus the current solar calendar),” The Old Farmer’s Almanac explains in a post online.

Fox News’ James Rogers and Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.

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