5 things to know about the ‘super blood wolf moon’ Sunday night

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YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA – JULY 28: A view full moon during a ‘blood moon’ eclipse on July 28, 2018 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Stargazers viewed Friday’s total lunar eclipse, which was the longest blood moon visible this century, until 2123. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Skygazers across the nation are setting their sights on a lunar eclipse set to take place Sunday. Texans who stay up late should get a good view. Here’s all you need to know about the uniquely-named “super blood wolf moon.”

1.  What’s with the name?

  • Supermoon: When a full or new moon coincides with the closest distance that the Moon reaches to Earth in its elliptic orbit, resulting in a larger-looking moon
  • Blood moon: While not an official astronomical term, this is just another word for a total lunar eclipse. This is when a full moon passes directly through earth’s shadow, causing it to turn a rusty orange or dark red
  • Wolf moon: A wolf moon is the name bestowed upon January’s full moon. Native American and early Colonial cultures gave it this name because it appeared when hungry wolves howled outside the villages

2. See it now while you can.

It is the last lunar eclipse of this decade.

3. You’re in a good place to view it.

The entire eclipse is visible across the U.S. (including Texas) for the first time since 2010

4. Be on the lookout for other sights in the sky

When the moon is covered by earth’s shadow, reduced light pollution will make other stars and shooting stars more visible 

5.  Eclipse timing 

  • Sunday night, Jan. 20 — Monday morning, Jan. 21
    • Partial begins:  8:36 p.m. MST
    • Total begins:  9:41 p.m. MST
    • Peak:  10:12 p.m. MST

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