KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Sunday night ushered in cold temperatures, but also the first total lunar eclipse in Michigan since 2015.
The lunar eclipse is even more rare: Sunday’s celestial event is referred to as a Super Blood Wolf Moon. The moon will be closer to Earth, making it appear larger than a typical full moon; it will appear to have a reddish color – hence the blood moon name; and because the full moon occurs in January, it’s a wolf moon.
The lunar eclipse occurs when the moon completely passes through the Earth’s shadow.
The event Sunday night is the only one of its kind in 2019 and the next time a total lunar eclipse will be visible from North America is 2022.
The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society planned a watch party at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, but cancelled due to expected frigid temperatures. Temperatures in West Michigan were expected to be below zero during totality with the wind chill feeling even colder.
The partial stage of the lunar eclipse began at 10:34 p.m. Sunday with the total eclipse beginning at 11:41 p.m.
Richard Bell, president of the society, said anyone could the eclipse. Special equipment was not required, unlike the solar eclipse when specialized glasses were required to view the sun.
“It’s one of the grandest sights in nature,” Bell said while setting up his telescope in his backyard.
He said telescopes and binoculars could help people see details of the lunar eclipse.
“When the moon is full, it blares out the whole sky. But during totality, it’s like on a moonless night, but you have this neat coppery red orb in the sky,” he explained.
Kalamazoo is expected to have clear skies so viewing should not be a problem, just remember to bundle up and prepare for very cold temperatures.