The ‘Wolf Moon Eclipse’ 2020
On Friday, January 10, 2020, the full moon will illuminate the sky and will be accompanied by a penumbral lunar eclipse.
The moon reaches its full moon phase on Friday, January 10 at 19:21 GMT (2:21 pm EST). The January full moon is known as the Full Wolf Moon, Full Cold Moon, Full Old Moon, and the Great Spirit Moon. It is believed that this full moon was called ‘Wolf Moon’ because wolves tend to howl more often at this time of year. Full moons in January always shine in or near the stars of Gemini (the Twins) or Cancer (the Crab). You can find the moonrise and moonset times and the info on the moon phases in the stargazing app Star Walk 2.
The ‘Wolf Moon Eclipse’ will arrive with a penumbral lunar eclipse. What is a penumbral lunar eclipse? A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. This astronomical event can only occur on the night of a full moon. A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through Earth's penumbra. The moon darkens only a little during a penumbral lunar eclipse, and careful observers can notice this subtle dimming of the moon’s disc.
The eclipse will begin when the moon contacts the Earth’s penumbra at 17:07:44 GMT (or 12:07 pm EST on Friday) and will last 4 hours and 5 minutes overall. The moon will enter almost completely into the Earth’s northern penumbral ring, subtly darkening the moon’s southern edge more than its northern edge. However, the effect will be visible only within about 30 minutes on either side of greatest eclipse, which will occur at 19:10:02 GMT (or 2:10 pm EST). The penumbral eclipse will end at 21:12:19 GMT (or 4:12 pm EST).
Unlike total solar eclipses, which have a very precise alignment, each lunar eclipse is visible from anywhere on Earth where the moon is above the horizon – generally about half of the globe. Friday’s penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible across Europe, eastern Africa, Indian Ocean, and Asia. In North America, Alaska and the Canadian Maritimes will be treated to only the beginning and final stages of the eclipse, respectively. Western Africa and Australia will also see portions of the eclipse. The next lunar eclipse that will be observable across Canada and the USA, another penumbral one, will occur on November 30.
Find out how, when and where to see the ‘Wolf Moon Eclipse’ in the comprehensive Eclipse Guide app. You will get local times, eclipse maps, best places to view, and everything to view this sky event.
Enjoy the first lunar eclipse of 2020!