Images of the Total Lunar Eclipse on Sunday 20th January 2019 through Monday 21st January 2019. Photo Credit: Christopher Soobstar
For the first time in three years, a total lunar eclipse was fully visible from Trinidad and Tobago and many eyes took to the skies late last night into this morning.
This total lunar eclipse, a usually extraordinary event, was particularly special because it coincided with several other events. First off, it was considered a supermoon. This means that the Moon was less than 360,000 Kilometers away from the center of the Earth and appears about 7% brighter than an average full Moon.
Secondly, as it was a total lunar eclipse, it was a “blood” moon. A total lunar eclipse is effectively a full moon, that is also being blocked by Earth, casting a shadow onto the moon – hence the reddish hue.
It was also considered a wolf moon. This name is attributed to the first full moon of the year, which occurs in January.
For those that viewed the entire eclipse, from start to finish, saw several things occurring last night. Initially, the supermoon appeared in all it’s glory (below), where viewers, at least until 11:33PM Sunday night, saw a moon that was 222,274 miles or 357,715 km away from Earth.
After 11:33PM, the Earth’s shadow was beginning to cast over the moon – making the moon appear as if it was disappearing.
At 12:41AM, the Earth was fully blocking the light from the sun directly casting onto the moon. However, light from the sun was still able to pass through Earth’s atmosphere. Through a process called scattering, only longer wavelengths of visible light on the electromagnetic spectrum were able to pass through the Earth’s atmosphere, casting a reddish hue onto the moon – hence the name “blood moon.“
This eclipse was particularly long, with total lunar eclipse lasting nearly an hour and producing some spectacular sights.
Missed this supermoon? Don’t fear, as you’ll have another chance to see the larger than usual celestial body on February 19th 2019 as another super full moon is carded. And with the return of a super moon, we also have a return of king tides, producing nuisance flooding to low-lying coastal areas across T&T.
What if you missed the Total Lunar Eclipse? Just wait three more years! Another total lunar eclipse, or a blood moon, is expected on the night of May 15th into May 16th 2022 and it will be fully visible from Trinidad and Tobago!