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An uncommon sky coming soon

Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 12:16 pm

If you happen to like gazing at the moon, you may want to mark your calendar for the “super blood wolf moon” that is coming in the overnight between January 20 and January 21. But what exactly is it and is it worth bundling up and trekking outside for a look?

What sounds like an ominous occurrence is really a unique combination of astronomical events. The biggest of these events is the lunar eclipse, the first of 2019. It’s also a total lunar eclipse, and the next won’t be here until 2021. In a lunar eclipse, the Earth blocks the sunlight that normally reaches the moon. The Earth’s shadow falls on the moon, creating a reddish hue, or what some call a “blood moon.”

As for the “wolf moon” portion of the name, it’s called that because it’s the first full moon of the year. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, this full moon was called the “wolf moon” because it appeared “when wolves howled outside the villages in hunger.” It could also be because wolves howl more during their mating season, which begins in January.

For the full article, pick up the latest Northumberland Echo 1/9/19