Here’s how you can view the “Super Blood Wolf Moon” on Jan. 20
Get out your telescopes: a lunar eclipse is coming soon to a night sky near you.
Or, if you don’t have a telescope, you can head to Seminole State College’s Sanford/ Lake Mary campus for their free lunar eclipse viewing party on Jan 20.
This lunar eclipse, dubbed the “Super Blood Wolf Moon,” is created when the earth comes between our moon and the sun.
Derek Demeter, director of Seminole State’s Emil Buehler Planetarium, described the features that comprise this moon’s name.
The earth’s shadow, as well as its atmosphere, creates a deep red color on the surface of the moon, Demeter said. This is where the “Blood Moon” description comes from, a title that originated with a Twitter hashtag several years ago.
A supermoon occurs when the moon is at perigee (the closest point to Earth), making it 10 to 13 percent larger, according to Demeter.
The wolf moon comes from the traditional Native American name for the full moon in January.
Before the moon takes on its red form Sunday, Seminole State College is hosting a range of events to commemorate what they call “Moon Week.”
Throughout the week, the planetarium will host events including a movie screening of “Last Man on the Moon,” a panel discussion with some of the support staff from NASA's Apollo Lunar Program, a lecture from UCF physics professor Dr. Addie Dove and a laser show featuring Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.”
On Sunday, Jan. 20, Moon Week will culminate with the free lunar eclipse viewing party.
Adjacent to the planetarium, the free “star party” will start at 8 p.m., ushering in the Super Blood Wolf Moon with food trucks and telescopes set up by the Central Florida Astronomical Society, some of which will have smartphone mounts for astrophotography.
The eclipse will begin around 9:30 p.m. when the “first contact” occurs, Demeter said. After 10 p.m., viewers will begin to see a part of the moon darken and at 11:40 p.m., the period of totality will begin, lasting for about 45 minutes.
The eclipse concludes at 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 21.
Seminole State’s star party will go on regardless of weather, with contingency plans in case of rain or cloudy skies.
A full listing of events is available on Seminole State’s Emil Buehler Planetarium website: seminolestate.edu/planet/ show-calendar.