We enjoyed the Super, Blood, Wolf, Full Moon. It’s called “super” because the full moon here in January is bigger than an average full moon. The moon averages 238,855 miles from Earth, but it can vary from 252,088 miles away to 225,623 miles away. When the moon is closer, it will look slightly bigger and when the moon is farther away, it will look slightly smaller. Every month, the moon goes through a time when it is closer to the Earth and a time when it is farther away. We are near the closest the full moon comes to the Earth in January. That’s today (Mon. 1/21) at 2:59 pm, when it will be 222,042 miles from the Earth. The only time it will come closer this year will be in February and August.
It’s also called a “blood moon” because it will look reddish during the full part of the eclipse. The moon will be passing through the shadow of the Earth. However, the moon won’t disappear – you’ll be able to see it, it will just look dimmer and reddish. The red color is from light passing around the earth, where it is sunrise or sunset.
The full moon of January is called the Wolf Moon. Native Americans gave names to the full moons and the January moon was named after the wolf, a mighty creature that survives the winter cold and snow. Here’s a list of full moon names.
The eclipse started at 10:34 pm. That’s when the moon began to move into the Earth’s shadow. You won’t see any difference for awhile. The “full eclipse” starts at 11:41 pm and lasts until 12:44 am. That’s when you’ll notice a difference. The moon will look dimmer and reddish. Maximum eclipse is 12:16 pm and the moon exits the Earth’s shadow at 1:51 am. The moon will be high in the sky for this event. The next lunar eclipse is May 26, 2021 and the next time a total eclipse is visible throughout N. America is in May 2022.
Some moon facts: If you were to drive to the moon from the Earth at 55 mph, you’d have to drive without stopping for 181 days to get there. On the moon, you’d weigh just 16.5% of what you weigh on Earth. So if you weigh 100 pounds on the Earth, you’d weigh just 16.5 pounds on the moon, about as much as my bowling ball. Think how high you could jump or how far you could hit a baseball. Only 12 people have walked on the moon – all from the United States. The moon has small moonquakes. The moon is moving away from the Earth at the rate of about an inch and a half every year. Our moon is the 5th biggest moon in the solar system and the only moon that doesn’t have another name – it’s just “the moon”. On the moon there is no atmosphere…no air…so there is no noise. It’s perfectly quiet. And with no atmosphere, the sky stays black during the daytime when the sun is out. The moon has extreme tempratures, ranging from +392 to -328 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here’s a link to current weather conditions in Michigan. While you’re looking at the moon this time of year, see if you can find some of the constellations. Look for the Big Dipper and the Orion, the Hunter (prominent in our winter sky). See if you can find the North Star and Casseopeia (it looks like a “W” in the northeastern sky). As always, thanks for reading my blog!