A Super Blood Moon And A Total Lunar Eclipse: 2019 Starts With A Rare Cosmic Event

This is a rare and special event, as the next Super Blood Moon won’t be until Jan. 31, 2037, and this is the last total lunar eclipse to grace Earth’s sky until May 26, 2021.

This upcoming January 21, things kick off with a bang. 2019 will have an incredible start, thanks to this rare celestial event.

A Super Blood Moon is when a total lunar eclipse, also known as a Blood Moon, coincides with a Super Moon. A total lunar eclipse takes place when the Moon passes directly through the Earth’s umbra (full shadow). As the Moon has an irregular orbit, this does not happen often.

It is known as a Blood Moon due to the eerie red hue which hits the Moon’s surface.

The red colour comes from light being refracted through the Earth’s atmosphere and bending around to hit the Moon. How intense the red colour depends on the levels of dust in the atmosphere, and the atomospheric dust blocks other hues whilst allowing the red colours to pass through.

A Super Moon is a full Moon that falls at the closest distance that the Moon is from the Earth in its elliptic orbit. This makes the Moon appear bigger in size than usual. In fact, it can actually appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter, hence the title of ‘Super Moon’.

Where can you watch the lunar eclipse and full blood supermoon?

The total phase of this total lunar eclipse will be visible from North and South America, and western parts of Europe and Africa. Central and eastern Africa, Europe, and Asia will see a partial eclipse of the Moon.

Lunar eclipses can be visible from everywhere on the night side of the Earth, if the sky is clear. From some places, the entire eclipse will be visible, while in other areas the Moon will rise or set during the eclipse.

The worldwide map below shows where the eclipse is visible worldwide. At the eastern/western fringes of the viewing area, you can only see the beginning or ending stages of this eclipse. For instance, from the Middle East and eastern/southern Africa, you might glimpse the beginning of the partial eclipse low in the western sky shortly before the sun rises and the moon sets on January 21. At the other exterme -from the temperate regions of northeastern Siberia – you may catch the final stages of the partial eclipse low in the eastern sky for a short while after the sun sets and the moon rises on January 21.


After the Jan. 21, 2019 total lunar eclipse, stargazers will have to wait more than two years for the next one. The year 2019 will see one more lunar eclipse, a partial eclipse on July 16 of that year, and will be followed by four relatively minor penumbral eclipses (where the moon passes through the outer edge of the Earth’s shadow, called the penumbra) in 2020. After that, the next total lunar eclipse will be May 26. 2021.

The next Super Blue Blood Moon won’t happen until Jan. 31, 2037, and it will be visible in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and parts of Africa.