Moon will put on a ‘super’ show this Sunday


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Amateur astronomers can get a stellar view of this weekend’s upcoming Super Blood Wolf Moon thanks to some help from the pros at the Rothney Observatory.

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Neel Roberts, as astronomer with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Calgary, said southern Alberta will get one of the best views of the lunar event happening on Sunday evening.

“It’s a Super Moon which is 14 per cent larger, 30 per cent brighter with a reddish glow and Wolf is its regular name for that month,” Roberts said in a statement of the rare lunar eclipse, which is actually a combination of astronomical events playing out at the same time.

The Rothney Observatory will be open to the public on Sunday to view the Super Blood Wolf Moon, and Roberts said astronomers on site will have “lots of equipment and know-how to help you enjoy the experience.”

Environment Canada is calling for clear skies during the eclipse, but the event will be cancelled if “the sky is too cloudy the event,” the society said.

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Unlike 2017’s solar eclipse, the eclipse will be visible with the naked eye and is safe to look at directly.

Capturing the eclipse on camera might prove a bit more difficult for photographers, so astronomy expert Alan Dyer has a guide on How to Photograph the 2019 Lunar Eclipse.

Dyer suggests using a tripod and says taking lots of practice of taking moonlight shots before the big event on Sunday.

Once the eclipse is over on Sunday you won’t get another glimpse of a Super Blood Wolf Moon until Nov. 8, 2022.

Last year’s Super Blue Moon total lunar eclipse.
Last year’s Super Blue Moon total lunar eclipse. Photo by Marco Ugarte /AP

Here’s what you need to know about the Super Blood Wolf Moon if you want to check out the eclipse this weekend.

First, let’s look at the ‘blood’ part of the name.

The moon will pass through the shadow of the Earth on Sunday night, called a lunar eclipse, which will give the moon a red tint. Makes sense so far, right?

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Next is the ‘Super Moon’ — a name given to how large the moon looks when it is at its closest point to our planet.

According to the Weather Network, the full moon will be 357,728 kilometres from Earth around midnight on Sunday, so it won’t just be red, but it will also appear larger in the sky.

And lastly is the ‘Wolf Moon,’ a name given to the first full moon of the year. The Weather Network said the name was used by early almanac writers and is based on Indigenous folklore.

Last year saw a “super blue moon” total lunar eclipse, but a mostly cloudy day made for a spotty view at best.

Environment Canada is calling for clear skies for Sunday night’s eclipse with a low of only -4 C, so night-sky gazers should be able enjoy the view in relative comfort.

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The eclipse is expected to last a little over five hours and should start around 7:30 p.m. Sunday in Alberta. The moon will be at its bloodiest, most super and wolfiest just after midnight.

The Rothney Observatory is located at 210 Avenue West at Hwy 22 South near Priddis. Sunday’s observatory event is all-ages and doors open at 8:30 p.m. Ticket price is by donation only.

Will you have your eyes toward the skies for tonight’s Super Blood Wolf Moon?

We want to know what you saw while the rest of us were sleeping. Share your photos and experiences with us in an email, or on Facebook,Twitter or Instagram.

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