Ten Stunning Photos of the Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse

A lunar eclipse was visible across much of the world last night, bathing the moon in a reddish glow

A picture taken on January 21, 2019 in Duisburg, Germany, shows a view of the Super Blood Moon above an industrial plant during a lunar eclipse. Marcel Kusch / AFP / Getty Images
The moon during the January 21, 2019 total lunar eclipse over the skyline of Frankfurt. Frank Rumpenhorst / Picture Alliance / Getty Images
A composite photo shows all the phases of the so-called Super Blood Wolf Moon total lunar eclipse on Sunday January 20, 2019 in Panama City. Luis Acosta / AFP / Getty Images
The moon slips into Earth's dark umbral shadow during a total lunar eclipse over Angel de la Independencia in Mexico City on January 20, 2019. Alfredo Estrella / AFP / Getty Images)
The January 21, 2019 total lunar eclipse as seen over Laatzen, Germany. Julian Stratenschulte / Picture Alliance / Getty Images
A picture taken on January 21, 2019 the Super Blood Moon seen behind the equestrian statue of the Saxon king Johann during a lunar eclipse in Dresden, Germany. Sebastian Kahnert / AFP / Getty Images
The Super Blood Wolf Moon lunar eclipse passes over One World Trade Center on January 20, 2019 in New York City. Gary Hershorn / Getty Image
A picture taken on January 21, 2019 in Cologne, Germany, shows the Super Blood Moon lunar eclipse above the landmark Dome.
The January 21, 2019 total lunar eclipse beside Naumburg Cathedral in Germany. Hendrik Schmidt / Picture Alliance / Getty Images
The lunar eclipse on January 21, 2019 before the moon is fully cast in shadow, hovering over the dome of the church St. Elisabeth in Nuremberg, Germany. Daniel Karmann / Picture Alliance / Getty Images

Last night, much of the Western Hemisphere enjoyed one of the most spectacular natural phenomena to occur in the sky, a total lunar eclipse. During such an eclipse, the Earth, moon and sun align such that the Earth blocks the sunlight from reaching the surface of the moon, casting the lunar surface in shadow. When the central part of the Earth’s shadow, called the umbra, covers the moon, the only light that reaches the lunar surface has been filtered through Earth’s atmosphere, which strips out the blue wavelengths and casts the moon in a red glow.

For this reason, total lunar eclipses are frequently called blood moons. The January 20 and 21 blood moon happened to coincide with lunar perigee, or the moon’s closest point to Earth when it appears largest in the sky—informally known as a super moon. The naming of total lunar eclipses also sometimes borrows from the Farmer’s Almanac, which identifies the first full moon of January as the “Wolf Moon.” The origin of the term “wolf moon” has been attributed to both Native American and Anglo-Saxon cultures.

And so, on January 20 and 21 of 2019, the world enjoyed a Super Blood Wolf Moon. Photographers across the Americas and Europe stayed up late, or got up early, to capture the astronomical sight hovering over notable landmarks and skylines. The next total lunar eclipse—to say nothing of the other modifiers—will not light up the night sky until May 26, 2021.

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