'Super Blood Wolf Moon' to get star billing in weekend lunar eclipse

Total Lunar Eclipse Expected at the End of AFC Championship Game

The "screen" is the full moon, and the "movie" is the progression of Earth's shadow across the face of the moon.

A 2018 super blood moon as seen from Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado. The only light wavelength left is red - dimly illuminating the moon with less than one-thousandth of the full moon's normal brightness.

A supermoon occurs when the moon is within 90 percent of its closest possible distance to the Earth.

During that hour the moon could disappear completely from view or, more likely, some of the light from the sun will filter through the Earth's atmosphere and you may see an orangey red globe hanging in the sky.

The reason for their rarity is the moon's orbit, which is tilted some 5 degrees off-kilter from Earth's orbital plane, or ecliptic; if the two were perfectly aligned, a total lunar eclipse would occur monthly, each time the moon was full.

During a total lunar eclipse, the moon can turn a coppery-reddish colour as Earth's atmosphere scatters the light from the sun, which will lie directly behind it.

Then, the fun begins as the moon enters the umbra or darker shadow.

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It will be the last Total Lunar Eclipse until May 2021, so you'll be wanting to check this one out. "Lunar eclipses. reflect our world", astronomer and podcaster Pamela Gay told Space.com in an email.

Finally, the "wolf moon" is just another name for the first full moon of the year. Many Christians believe scripture indicates a Blood Moon is a sign from God regarding the return of Christ.

Although it is set to be a late Sunday night, there is no shortage of activities inside the centre in the lead-up to the eclipse. Weather forecasts predict harsh weather in some areas, but there will be live-stream options available.

Lastly, pick a time to see the eclipse, the first or second half (3.30am - 6am or 6.30am onwards). People on the East Coast of the United States will have the best view of the eclipse. Totality is expected to start a little over an hour later, around 11:43 p.m., and hold for an hour.

"During totality, which will last 62 minutes, the moon will appear to glow like an eerie ball - which to the eye, and especially in binoculars and small telescopes - will appear nearly three dimensional", Joe Rao, an instructor at New York's Hayden Planetarium, wrote in a Space.com column. The difference in size and brightness is due to the moon's proximity to Earth.

In recent years, a number of blood moons have captured global attention, causing some to speculate about a possible connection to prophecy and the End Times.

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