Lunar eclipse forecast: Clear, cold and maybe some fog across parts of the state

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - It’s a rarity — a total lunar eclipse that coincides with the moon being at its closest point to Earth. On Jan. 20, 2019 North and South America will be able to see the Super Wolf Blood moon.

The partial eclipse will begin at 6:33 p.m. AKDT on Sunday. The full eclipse starts at 7:41 p.m. and ends at 8:43 p.m. The partial eclipse — as the moon is leaving Earth’s shadow — ends at 9:50 p.m.

All of Alaska has the chance to see the lunar eclipse weather permitting. Some fog might block the start of the eclipse in the Anchorage area but should clear out by about 7 p.m. Mostly clear skies are expected for the Mat-Su Valleys and the western Kenai Peninsula.

Southwest Alaska will be mostly clear as well, but watch for the cold. Bethel can expect wind chills to -28F degrees during the eclipse. Increasing clouds around the Seward Peninsula.

Interior and Northern areas of the state should be mostly clear, with snow and rain showers expected around the panhandle. Unfortunately, that means chances to see the eclipse aren't great.

As for what the Super Wolf Blood moon is, the “super” part is a result of the moon at perigee when the moon is at its nearest point to Earth during its orbit. It will appear seven to 14 percent bigger than a “regular” moon.

Every full moon during the year has a name. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the January full moon is the “wolf” moon.

“Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily,” the Almanac states.

And it’s a “blood” moon because of the total lunar eclipse which makes the moon appear red or orange. During a total lunar eclipse, the sun, Earth and moon are aligned in space. Light gets refracted around the earth, and Earth’s atmosphere strips out the blue light leaving red, orange and gold to reflect on the moon.

“How gold, orange, or red the Moon appears during a total lunar eclipse depends on how much dust, water, and other particles are in Earth's atmosphere, as well as factors such as temperature and humidity,” according to NASA.

The next total lunar eclipse will not occur until May 2021.



 
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