Albertans who happen to be up early Wednesday morning, go outside and look to the west.
There, they’ll be able to see a red moon, or a total lunar eclipse.
Director of Space & Planetarium Science at the Telus World of Science, Frank Florian told the Alberta Morning News Sunday, a total lunar eclipse is when the moon goes into the darkest part of the earth’s shadow.
“Now you might think at that time the moon should just disappear because there’s no direct sunlight getting to it, but it takes on a red or copper glow because a little bit of sunlight passes through the earth’s atmosphere, bending around the earth and illuminating the moon with its eerie reddish colour. Sometimes they call it the blood moon,” Florian said.
LISTEN BELOW: Frank Florian with the Telus World of Science talks about the total lunar eclipse with Peter Watts
This will be the first of two lunar eclipses in 2018. The second one will happen in July but Florian said it won’t be visible in North America.
The next total lunar eclipse visible in Edmonton will be on Jan. 20, 2019.
WATCH: Big Sky Observatory astronomer James Durbano joins Global Calgary with details on how to best see the lunar eclipse happening January 31.
Albertans wanting to see one can just look west early Wednesday morning without any kind of help or protection.
“They don’t need binoculars or telescopes you’ll see this red moon in the sky, binoculars or telescope will just make the moon look closer, a little bit bigger,” he said.
“But for looking at a lunar eclipse you really don’t need to have a telescope or anything. And it’s not like a solar eclipse where you need special filters. It’s basically just your eyes alone, that’s all you really need to see the red moon.”
But it won’t be the only type of moon visible that morning.
“This is also the second full moon of January which makes it a blue moon, and it’s also one of the more closer full moons of the year so, some people might even be calling it a so-called supermoon as well. So we got a blue moon, we’ve got a total lunar eclipse which some people refer to as a blood moon, and then we also have it being a supermoon as well.”
According to the Telus World of Science the events of the eclipse are as follows:
- Partial eclipse begins at 4:48 a.m. MST
- Total lunar eclipse begins at 5:51 a.m. MST
- Mid-eclipse at 6:29 a.m. MST
- Total lunar eclipse ends at 7:07 a.m. MST
- Partial eclipse ends at 8:11 a.m. MST
- Moonset from Edmonton at 8:26 a.m.