(KCTV) - Near the end of January, the moon will be completely covered in the Earth's shadow creating a total lunar eclipse -- and this will be a good one. It's being called a "Super Blood Wolf Moon," and it will be visible across all of the continental U.S., starting on January 20, and reaching its peak on the following night January 21.
Here's a breakdown of this eclipse's amazing name.
It gets the word super because the moon will be especially close to the Earth, making it appear much larger than normal.
Total lunar eclipses are often called blood moons because they cause the moon to take on a deep red color. Because the Earth blocks the sun from casting any light directly on the moon, it's only visible with indirect light filtered through the Earth's atmosphere. Red wavelengths of light are less affected by this filter, giving the moon its reddish orange glow. It's actually the same effect that causes sunsets to appear red!
A full moon in the month of January is sometimes referred to as the wolf moon. There are usually 12 full moons in a year and each one has a traditional name. The wolf moon is said to have gotten its name because wolves would howl at this moon more than any other. (Some years have 13 full moons, and the last one is known as a blue moon.)
Put it all together and you've got a "Super Blood Wolf Moon."