The Super Blood Moon is the very first Full Moon of the year and the very first total lunar eclipse of 2019. The eclipse will pass over the Western Hemisphere between the night of January 20 and the morning of January 21. During this spectacular passage, the Moon will travel through the Earth’s shadow and take on a deep red hue from scattered sunlight. The January eclipse comes exactly 178 days after the last Blood Moon on July 27, 2018, and stargazers in the west are encouraged to keep their eyes peeled.
After the eclipse peaks at 5.13am GMT (UTC) it will completely leave the Earth’s shadow about two hours later.
If you were one of the unfortunate few stargazers who missed the July eclipse, this will be your chance to see the phenomenon in person because it is the last Blood Moon for another two years.
According to NASA’s eclipse experts at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), the Moon will not reach totality again until the total eclipse of May 26, 2021.
This means none of the following five lunar eclipses will ever completely blot out the Moon and paint it red.
READ MORE: When and Where to see the SUPERMOON
Astronomer Bruce McClure of EarthSky.org said: “The next five Full Moons in February, March, April, May and June 2019 will veer to the north of the Earth’s shadow until the Moon partially clips the Earth’s shadow on July 16. 2019.
“After that, the following five Full Moons in August, September, October, November and December 2019 will swerve to the south of the Earth’s shadow, until the penumbral lunar eclipse of January 10, 2020.
“There will be a total of four lunar eclipses in the year 2020 – January 10, June 5, July 5 and November 30, 2020 – but all these lunar eclipses will be hard-to-see penumbral eclipses.”
The closest we will come to another full eclipse is on the night of July 16, 2019, when a partial eclipse obscures around 50 percent of the lunar orb.
The two hour and 58-minute-long eclipse will pass over South America, with visibility extending to Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
The January eclipse, however, will only last one hour and two minutes in eclipse totality.
This is the amount of time the Moon will spend in the Earth’s darkest shadow – the umbra.
Partial and penumbral eclipsing on either side of totality, from start to finish, will see the entire eclipse clock in at three hours and 17 minutes.
The eclipse will be best seen from all of North and South America with a line of visibility extending to the western edges and northernmost parts of Europe.
Here in the UK, the eclipse will be visible from start to finish although the Moon will move fairly close to the horizon, making it hard to spot in large cities.
Elsewhere, outside of the direct path of totality, countries in Africa will have a chance to see some partial or penumbral eclipsing.
When viewed from the UK, the initial penumbral stage of the eclipse will begin at 2.36am GMT.
Full eclipse will start at 4.41am GMT when viewed from London and wrap up by 5.43am GMT.
The eclipse will end at around 7.48am GMT, just before the Moon dips below the horizon for the day.