File photo from 2018, of the supermoon rising in the UAE. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

What you need to know

  • On the night of January 21, people across the world can witness a Super Blood 'Wolf' Moon eclipse.
  • Dubai Astronomy Group clarified if the eclipse will be visible from the UAE.
  • This is the first lunar eclipse of the year, with three more eclipses expected in 2019.

Dubai: On January 21, two astronomical phenomena will overlap – a supermoon and an eclipse.

This will be the first lunar eclipse of the year, with three more eclipses expected in 2019. Even though UAE residents will be able to enjoy the supermoon, the eclipse will unfortunately start after the moon sets on the horizon, according to Dr Hasan Al Hariri, CEO of the Dubai Astronomy Group.

What is a supermoon?

When a full moon coincides with the closest point in the moon’s orbit to the Earth, the moon appears significantly brighter and bigger – being termed a supermoon.

Super moon rises over the skyline of Dubai in January 2018 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Last year, the supermoon on January 31, was a rare phenomenon, as it was a Blue Moon as well – the second supermoon within a month.

This supermoon is going to be a Blood Moon, which is a term used to refer to the hue of the moon as the light from the Earth reflects onto the moon, giving it a reddish tinge.

This is also being called as a Wolf Moon for historical reasons. In Native American and early colonial times, the full moon for January was called the Wolf Moon as it appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Photograph of the full moon in Janaury 2018 Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

UAE views

Dr Hasan Al Hariri spoke to Gulf News about the activities that have been planned for the general public at the Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre in Mushrif Park, Dubai.

“The supermoon will be visible on the night of January 21, and on average a supermoon is almost 13 per cent brighter than a full moon. The activities will start at around 7pm and we will be announcing information educating the visitors about the phenomenon,” he said.

File photo of the supermoon eclipse in January 2018 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Even though the eclipse will not be visible to people in the UAE, people in North and South America, and western parts of Europe and Africa will be able to witness the total eclipse, with a partial eclipse visible in parts of Africa and Asia.