ORONO – Space is like a beautiful show with all the millions of stars, comets and galaxies.
But this weekend the moon is going to be the main attraction in the night sky.
On Jan. 20 and 21, the University of Maine’s Emera Astronomy Center will host a free outdoor lunar eclipse viewing so that attendees will be able to see the eclipse transform our moon from its normal form to its blood moon form.
“Basically during lunar eclipses, the moon turns reddish brown or a deep coppery color. The moon is passing through the earth’s shadow but some light is reaching the surface and the moon is basically refracting or bending light through the earth atmosphere onto the surface of the moon and that gives it that reddish brown or coppery color,” said Shawn Laatch, astronomy center director.
The eclipse itself will begin Sunday night at exactly 9:36 p.m. and last until 2:48 a.m. Monday morning. The complete totality eclipse is when the moon is fully swallowed up by earth’s shadow and it is from 11:41 p.m. to 12:43 a.m.
This blood moon is extra special is because it is also super wolf moon. The super part means the moon is closest to the earth, and the wolf part is because it is the first full moon of the year, so that makes this moon a super blood wolf moon.
The next lunar eclipse will not occur until 2022.
For more information, visit astro.umaine.edu.