This coming Sunday night and Monday morning (January 20 and 21), a rare ‘super wolf blood moon’ should be on full display in the eastern United States. Virginia Tech’s Nahum Arav, an astronomer in the department of physics, calls it a trifecta of lunar viewing.  

“The blood moon is the folklore designation of a total lunar eclipse. The super moon is when the moon is closest to earth, and the wolf moon is simply the name bestowed on a full moon that takes place in January,” said Arav. 

If weather and sky conditions cooperate, totality can be seen starting Sunday at 11:41 PM and end on Monday, at 00:44 AM (EST). The deepest red hue will be at the middle of totality on Monday at approximately 12 minutes after midnight. 

The publication Sky and Telescope calls the event: ‘A full 62 luxurious minutes of totality.’

“No special equipment or glasses are needed to view the lunar eclipse, but people may want to bundle up when stepping outside on the chilly January night,” said Arav. “A pair of basic binoculars would be fun.  You'll definitely get more out of the experience. Binoculars or a telescope will reveal more details on the moon’s surface, such as smaller craters speckled across its surface.”

If sky conditions are uncooperative, you can watch it via live stream at

About Arav

Nahum Arav is a professor of physics at Virginia Tech in the College of Science. His work focuses on the influence of super massive black holes on structure formation in the universe and kinetic energy sources to assess its influence on galactic and intergalactic environments. More here.

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