THE MOON will put on a stellar show this January, with experts saying stargazers will be able to witness three spectacular lunar events to mark the New Year.
Millions of people across America and western Europe will be able to see a rare super blood moon, with our satellite temporarily turning bright red, a total lunar eclipse and a Wolf Moon in January. The eclipse, which triggers the blood Moon, will take place on the night between January 20 and January 21, and it could last for almost two hours. A total lunar eclipse can happen only when the Sun, Earth and Moon are perfectly aligned.
The last eclipse took place on July 27, 2018 and lasted for one hour and 43 minutes.
US space agency NASA defines a super Moon as a new or full Moon that looks bigger than usual because it is at the closest distance the Moon gets to Earth during its orbit, about 363,000 km away form us.
Super Moons typically appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than the average Moon seen in the sky each night, Dr Noah Petro, a research scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, told Fox News.
Explaining why we see the Moon changing colour during a total lunar eclipse, Space.com writes: "That's because some of the sunlight going through Earth's atmosphere is bent around the edge of our planet and falls onto the moon's surface.
“Earth's air also scatters more shorter-wavelength light (in colours such as green or blue).