‘Super blood moon’ thrills onlookers with vibrant shade of red

Stardome educator Josh Kirkley

Durango-area residents were treated to a rare celestial event Sunday night known as a "super blood wolf moon" lunar eclipse.

It was called a supermoon because the eclipse happened at a point in the moon's orbit when it is closest to the Earth, which causes the moon to look slightly brighter and bigger than usual.

The eclipse - the only one of 2019 - was visible throughout North and South America, as well as parts of Europe. The penumbra was the partial outer shadow, and the umbra was the full, dark shadow.

Although there was some cloud cover Sunday, moon-watchers said they felt fortunate to observe the lunar eclipse. Neither of these will enter the earth's shadow, thus will not be eclipsed.

Hundreds of individuals got here out late on Sunday evening or early Monday morning to witness the occasion, capturing photographs of the large blood wolf moon and sharing it on Twitter.

The Old Farmer's Almanac describes wolves howling during the January full moon due to hunger, hence the wolf moon. The total eclipse lasted one hour and two minutes (11:41 p.m. - 12:43 a.m.), with the greatest coverage of the moon happening at 12:12 a.m. Each moon has its own name associated with the full moon.

What is a blood moon and is it different to a total lunar eclipse?

The last super blood moon was visible in Arkansans, Sept. 27, 2015.

Blood moons and lunar eclipses of the past Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer, created fear in 1504 after he used knowledge of an upcoming blood moon to convince the Arawak Indians to help him while stranded in Jamaica.

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