Total lunar eclipse of January 21, 2019

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A total lunar eclipse will take place early Monday, January 21, 2019 (UTC) as the Moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. The totality will last 62 minutes. The next total lunar eclipse will be on May 26, 2021. 

The eclipse will be visible from Africa, the Americas, Europe, Kiribati, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Turkey. 

The eclipse will begin at 02:37 UTC when the Moon first enters a region of the Earth’s shadow called the penumbra. In this outer part of the Earth’s shadow, an observer on the Moon would see the Earth partially obscuring the Sun’s disk, but not completely covering it. As a result, the Moon’s brightness will begin to dim, as it is less strongly illuminated by the Sun, but it remains illuminated. 

The instant of greatest eclipse takes place at 05:13 UTC. This is 0.6 days before the Moon reaches perigee. During the eclipse, the Moon is in the constellation Cancer. The synodic month in which the eclipse takes place has a Brown Lunation Number of 1188.

Courtesy Fred Espenak

The total lunar eclipse of January 21, 2019 is preceded two weeks earlier by a partial solar eclipse on January 6, 2019. The eclipse belongs to Saros 134 and is number 27 of 72 eclipses in the series. All eclipses in this series occur at the Moon’s ascending node. The Moon moves southward with respect to the node with each succeeding eclipse in the series and gamma decreases.

These eclipses all take place during a single eclipse season.

Featured image credit: Glen Beltz

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