But because Earth's atmosphere extends about 50 miles up, during a total eclipse, although the Moon is in shadow, there is a ring around our planet through which the Sun's rays still pass.
A "super" moon occurs when the moon is especially close to earth, while a "wolf moon" is the traditional name for the full moon of January, when the howling of wolves was a sound that helped define winter, according to The Farmers Almanac.
This moon will be of the "super" variety because it will be closer to earth, making it appear bigger than usual.
A rare "super blood wolf moon" eclipse will be seen in the skies across many parts of the world next week.
If the clouds block our view, both Space.com and NASA.gov (Shutdown withstanding) will offer real-time coverage of the eclipse from beginning to end.
This is what gives the moon its reddish tinge which, while not "blood" red as its name suggests, has a copper-like colour. This year's full moon just so happens to coincide with a lunar eclipse and a supermoon.More news: Bruce Arians: Antonio Brown 'too much diva' from Steelers rookie he recalls
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Don't be afraid to look up Sunday night.
Experts say there will be four more eclipses this year. And yes, he said, the first full moon of the year was reportedly called a "wolf moon" by at least one Native American tribe.
But what really makes this weekend's eclipse noteworthy is how easy it should be to see: Weather permitting, it will be visible in its entirety to all of North and South America (as well as parts of western Europe and northwestern Africa)-and in the Americas its timing happens to align with socially acceptable circadian rhythms. In all, assuming good weather conditions, this shady little drama will have a potential viewing audience of some 2.8 billion people. "Front row center" belongs to those who live near and along the U.S. East Coast, where the totally eclipsed moon will climb to extraordinary heights. Sunday's eclipse will nearly coincide with that perigee, meaning that the moon won't just be redder than usual, it will also look a tiny bit wider.
The viewing in front of Union Station begins at 9 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Eastern Standard Time, or shortly past 7:30 p.m.
"If you are lucky enough to be able to see the whole event, you can get a mental picture of the size of the Earth's shadow at the distance of the moon by watching the moon move against background stars". The next extreme supermoon, when the moon is as close to the Earth as it can be, will be January 21, 2023.