Total Lunar Eclipse: Stay Up Late and Observe the Sky on Jan. 20-21

The moon. Photo taken from Apollo 11 in 1969. Source: NASA
The moon. Photo taken from Apollo 11 in 1969. Source: NASA

A total lunar eclipse is coming. It will be visible in North Carolina, and you don’t need special glasses like you did for the solar eclipse.

The eclipse beginning the evening of Sunday, January 20, 2019, will be a total lunar eclipse.

Total meaning the moon will be completely covered by Earth’s shadow.
Lunar meaning related to the Moon (derived from “luna” which is moon in Latin).
Eclipse meaning obscuring of the light from the Moon.

An eclipse occurs when the sun, moon, and Earth are aligned (celestially in a straight line, called syzygy) causing the shadow(s) to be cast. When the shadow falls on the moon, turning it a red hue, it’s is called a blood moon, referring to its darkened color under the shadow.

For the total lunar eclipse this month, since the moon will be a full moon, and will be nearest to the Earth that evening (perigee), the January 20 moon will be a supermoon.

Note that a January moon is referred to as a wolf moon by the Farmer’s Almanac (a book that’s been around a long while, focuses on things like weather, etc.).

So, the total lunar eclipse could be referred to by any or all of these names. Whatever you call it, in North Carolina viewers may watch the eclipse the evening of Sunday, January 20, 2019, until the early hours of Monday, January 21, 2019.

Watch from your backyard or, if you’d like to take part in a skywatching event where astronomers and others can turn the late-night into an educational opportunity, two NC public gatherings are listed below.

Grifton, NC

Sunday, January 20, 2019 @ 10pm-1am (Monday)

A Time For Science will be pulling an all-nighter to observe the total lunar eclipse. The public is invited to join them and stay up late to view this colorful, celestial phenomenon.

(Celestial is an astronomy term used to refer to the sky and outer space.)

A Time For Science will host this total lunar eclipse watch at its Grifton Nature and Science Center, 949 Contentnea Lane, Grifton, NC.

Check out A Time For Science at atimeforscience.org to see this event and other happenings.

Chapel Hill, NC

Sunday, January 20 2019 @ 10:30pm-12:30am (Monday)

A skywatch gathering at the sundial outside the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is planned to view the total lunar eclipse. Sky watching and lunar eclipse observing will be held weather-permitting.

The Morehead Planetarium & Science Center is located at UNC; 250 E Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC.

Note that the planetarium show, Carolina Skies (9:30-10:30pm Sunday), has sold out. The simulated eclipse offers an educational journey. Carolina Skies tickets range from $8.25 to $9.25. Tickets may be available for surrounding nights.

Visit the planetarium’s Skywatching web page to find eclipse information (near the bottom).

About Kay Whatley 2030 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.