The January 31st Total Lunar Eclipse

If you thought a Blue Moon was rare, try a combination of Blue Moon, Super Moon, and eclipsed Moon all in one! On Wednesday morning, January 31st, just such a phenomena will come to pass, as the perigee Moon arrives at Full Phase for the second time this month, just as it sweeps into the deepest part of the Earth’s shadow. At Headlands, the Moon will appear over the frozen Lake Michigan to the west, and the eclipse will begin at 5:45 am with what looks like a shadowy edge moving over the bright face of the Full Moon. “An eclipsed Moon doesn’t just disappear from view, it doesn’t even appear black. It actually looks reddish brown,” said Headlands Program Director Mary Stewart Adams. “The whole process, from start to finish, takes several hours, and the Moon will actually set into the lake as it is reaching maximum eclipse. It’s an exciting phenomena to witness!”

Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses can be watched with the naked eye, and through telescopes, and they can be seen over a much larger geographic area than solar eclipses. At Headlands, guests will hear tales of eclipse lore through history, have a chance to sketch their experience, and peek through one of several telescopes. “The program is designed to be open house style, since this phenomena is occurring in the early morning, mid-week,” said Adams. “We’ll provide naked eye and telescopic views, sketching materials, and light refreshments. We will also provide live streaming of the eclipse on our YouTube Channel, as it appears through our telescopes.”

The Headlands program is from 5:30 to 8:30 am. Eclipse times are as follows:
5:51 a.m. penumbral eclipse begins; Moon will be over the western horizon
6:48 a.m. partial phase of eclipse begins
7:51 a.m. total lunar eclipse begins (Moon appears reddish brown)
7:56 a.m. will be maximum eclipse visibility at Headlands
8:01 a.m. Moon will set into Lake Michigan and beyond view for us at Headlands, though eclipse endures; the Sun will be rising in the east at the same dynamic moment!
8:29 a.m. maximum eclipse occurs below the horizon for us
9:07 a.m. total eclipse completes
10:11 a.m. partial eclipse ends
11:08 a.m. penumbral eclipse ends

In the event of inclement weather, Headlands astronomy tech staff will live stream the eclipse from other locations. Event is $5, at the door. No reservations are necessary. For more information, please call 231-427-1001.

Photo of Moon by Todd Vorenkamp trvphoto.com