We’ll see a big, orange moon Sunday night (Jan. 20) when Earth’s shadow totally eclipses the Full Wolf Moon. Bob King
You won’t want to miss Sunday night’s total lunar eclipse. If you do, the next one won’t be till May 26, 2021. The eclipse takes place between about 9:10 p.m. (Central Time), when we’ll see the first hint of the Earth’s outer shadow darken the moon’s edge, until 1:15 the next morning, when the moon breaks its alignment with the sun and Earth and eases back into sunlight.
Lunar eclipses — penumbral, partial and total — always occur at full moon, when the moon, earth and sun line up squarely in a row in that order. Only then does the Moon pass through the shadow cast by our planet. Starry Night with additions by the author
A lunar eclipse can only occur during a full moon because full moons are always directly opposite the sun. From outer space, we’d see the sun, Earth and moon in that order. Earth casts a two-part shadow — a dark core called the umbra surrounded by the lighter penumbra. The penumbra isn’t fully dark because sunlight filters into it, diluting the darkness. From ...