TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE JANUARY 20, 2019
SKY WATCH JANUARY 2019
by Bob Berman, as featured in The 2019 Old Farmer’s Almanac
- The year begins with a predawn string of pearls: Some 40 minutes before sunrise on January 1, the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, and Mercury hover from upper right to lower left, low in the eastern sky. Venus is now at its brightest of the year.
- The alignment on the 2nd finds the Moon between Venus and Jupiter. On the 3rd, the Moon is to the left of Jupiter.
- Through January, Venus sinks lower at first light but Jupiter is higher; their opposing motions cause them to meet from the 20th to the 26th. At nightfall all month, Mars in Pisces is due south at a bright magnitude 0.
GREAT AMERICAN TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE!
- A total lunar eclipse on January 20, visible from the entire United States and Canada, begins at 10:34 p.m., with totality starting at 11:41 p.m. Unlike a solar eclipse, which follows a narrow path (and may not be visible to most people), a total eclipse of the Moon can often be observed from anywhere on Earth where it’s nighttime!
- Lunar eclipses only happen during full Moons; this January 2019 total eclipse of the Moon will appear bigger and brighter than average making it a so-called Supermoon.
- The Earth’s dark shadow will move over the bright disk of the Moon; our planet will block the Sun’s light while it is between the Sun and Moon, causing the Moon to turn an orangish-red hue. In popular culture, this has been nicknamed the “Blood Moon.”
- So, I guess you’re going to hear it called a “Supermoon Blood Moon Total Lunar Eclipse”? Or, perhaps it will be nicknamed a “Super Blood Moon Eclipse”? No matter! This will be the last total lunar eclipse until May 26, 2021 so take time to look up at this celestial phenomenon.