Why Sunday's Total Lunar Eclipse Is Called 'Super Blood Wolf Moon'


The only lunar eclipse of 2019 is happening on Sunday, and people are already excited to witness the spectacle. But why is it called a super blood wolf moon anyway? The answer is actually quite simple.

Total Solar Eclipse 2019

People have been excited to witness this Sunday’s total lunar eclipse, especially since it is this year’s only lunar eclipse and the last total lunar eclipse until May 26, 2021. Fortunately, even if people have to wait for two years before the next one, Sunday’s eclipse is bound to be a fantastic one. In fact, it’s not just a total lunar eclipse but the full moon will also be at its closest point to Earth in its orbit so it will be a super moon as well.

But why is it called a super blood wolf moon?

Super Blood Wolf Moon

Taken on its own, the name super blood wolf moon sounds rather ominous, but the truth is actually quite simple. The “super” in the name simply implies the total lunar eclipse's coinciding with the super moon, and the “blood” is there because the eclipse is going to give the moon an reddish-orange hue as the moon moves completely into umbra, or the inner part of the Earth’s shadow. Furthermore, blood moon is also another term people use for lunar eclipses.

The “wolf,” which is not a term as typically heard of compared to super moon and blood moon, simply points to the fact that the eclipse is happening on a January. This is because in Native American and Colonial times, January’s full moon was called the wolf moon because that is when wolves would howl in hunger outside of the villages.

The terms “blood moon” and “wolf moon” are not exactly terms used in astronomy, but are more of popular terms, or terms used in folklore.

Anyone who wants to see the rare super blood wolf moon will have to stay up on Sunday evening, as the penumbral phase will begin at 9:36 p.m. EST, and will reach its peak just before midnight. It is expected to end at about 12:43 a.m. EST.

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