A total eclipse of the Moon will occur tomorrow night (Jan. 20th, 2019) throughout America, a large part of Europe, and East Africa. It is an astronomical event that will allow you to enjoy the so-called “Red Moon”.
According to Erick Sánchez, technician of the Planetarium of the University of Costa Rica (UCR), what is going to happen this Sunday is the passage of the satellite of the Moon, through the shadow that the Earth projects. “Lunar eclipses always occur at a full moon and, most of the time, it is not possible to see the phenomenon due to the inclination of the Moon’s orbit with respect to that of the Earth. But in a small percentage of occasions, the Moon crosses the Earth’s shadow and we can see the passage of it, what will happen tomorrow”, he explained.
The expert stressed that the striking effect in a lunar eclipse is the so-called “Red Moon”, which occurs because the Earth’s atmosphere scatters a little sunlight towards the interior of the shadow itself, especially in the red and orange components. “This dyes the terrestrial shadow that -usually would be black-, by a dark red color that can vary in hue depending on the cloudiness of the atmosphere”, he added.
Sánchez also highlighted that the eclipse will begin this Sunday around 10:40 pm and will end a few minutes before midnight. “The maximum phase will be at 11:20 pm tomorrow night”, he said.
He added: “We will see a bigger black shadow that is covering the Moon and then we will see it reddish. When the Moon is in its total phase it stops shining and it will be seen with a very dark red and because of this, the sky will be observed fully of stars”.
The Planetarium expert indicated that the Moon does not require additional protection to be watched. Actually, it can be seen with the naked eye. “Although it would be better to have binoculars or a telescope; within the country, the possibility of seeing it will depend on the climatic conditions… Since if it is cloudy, it will not be possible to observe it”, he concluded.