A rare full moon will rise over Texas on Jan. 20, 2019. In addition to a full moon, Texas will be able to view the only total lunar eclipse in the next two years as well as a supermoon, a phenomenon which, according to NASA, means that the full moon will appear slightly larger due to its closer proximity to the Earth. The combination of a total lunar eclipse and supermoon conditions will give the moon an illuminating red color as well, making it a blood moon.
The moon has held special importance in science and various belief systems throughout history. Farmers used the moon as an indicator of new growing seasons and the time for harvest. One commonly known superstition which gained a significant presence in modern books, movies, and television shows includes the emergence of werewolves during a full moon.
Spiritualists believe that a lunar eclipse heightens the energy shifting effects of a full moon. Such energy is said to effect mood. Total lunar eclipses are regarded as a time when people should make changes in their lives, ridding themselves of negativity or old habits and transforming themselves in order to reach greater heights in life.
It’s a phenomenon that’s supposed to inspire bold action, so make sure to find a good spot to see this rare lunar event clearly.
As part of the Texas Parks & Wildlife’s participation in a program promoting light pollution awareness called the Dark Skies Program, Palmetto State Park located in Gonzalez, Texas and Pedernales Falls State Park located in Johnson City, Texas will be hosting family-friendly lunar eclipse viewing parties, where the eclipse can be observed clearly.
As shown in the infographic to the right, the action starts at 8:36 p.m. central time, when the moon will begin growing just slightly dimmer for roughly an hour until more noticeable changes take place.
At 9:33 p.m., portions of the moon will begin to seemingly disappear as the moon enters the darkest and central-most portion of Earth’s shadow, the umbra. At 10:41 p.m., the moon will have completely disappeared behind Earth’s umbra.
According to NASA, the eclipse will be at its peak at 11:12 p.m. and will last an hour and two minutes, exiting Earth’s umbra at 11:43 p.m. until 12:50 a.m.
The next total lunar eclipse won’t happen until May 26, 2021, so be sure to catch this special Super Blood Moon. If missed, though, stargazers can still look at bright night skies at other Texas State Park events in association with the Dark Skies Program on the Texas Parks & Wildlife’s Stargazing calendar of events.