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General · 20th January 2019
Earthsky.org
On January 20-21, we’ll have the first full moon of 2019, and the first lunar eclipse of 2019 (and this is an eclipse-heavy year, with three solar and two lunar eclipses). It can be viewed from North and South America, Greenland, Iceland, Europe, northern and western Africa, plus the Arctic region of the globe. More details on times for us on the Pacific coast, below.

The eclipse will happen on the night of the year’s first of three straight full supermoons, meaning the moon will be nearly at its closest to Earth for this January, as the eclipse takes place.

Many are calling it a Blood Moon eclipse. Why? The term Blood Moon to describe lunar eclipses has become all the rage. For example, the January 20-21 total lunar eclipse – last total lunar eclipse to grace Earth’s sky until May of 2021 – is being called a Blood Moon eclipse.

That surprised us when we first heard it. A few years ago, when the expression Blood Moon first gained widespread popularity, it didn’t refer to just any lunar eclipse, but to a special series of eclipses, four totally eclipsed moons in a row. Such a series is called a lunar tetrad. In 2013, two Christian pastors popularized the term Blood Moon in their book, in which they discussed an upcoming lunar tetrad in apocalyptic terms.

The four lunar eclipses came and went, and, although the world didn’t end, we gained another dubious meme: Blood Moon.

Now here’s a single, sad last thing. This will be the last total lunar eclipse to grace Earth’s sky until May 26, 2021.

Pacific Time
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 7:34 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse begins: 8:41 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Greatest eclipse: 9:12 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse ends: 9:43 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Partial umbral eclipse ends: 10:51 p.m. (January 20, 2019)