The #SuperBlueBloodMoon of last year as seen from Ottawa. (Devyn Barrie photo)
There will be a total lunar eclipse on January 20, and it can be fully visible from Ottawa if the sky cooperates.
The eclipse begins at 9:36 p.m., when the earth’s shadow will start to cast onto the moon, according to timeanddate.com. Similar to sunrises and sunsets, the moon will start turning red as the eclipse continues. You’ll want an unobstructed view to the southeast-south. The partial eclipse begins when the moon’s azimuth is 133 degrees, the total eclipse when it’s at 162 degrees and it goes all the way to 224 degrees when it ends.
The maximal eclipse visible in Ottawa will occur at 12:12 a.m. The total eclipse ends at 12:43 a.m. and the partial eclipse goes until 1:50 a.m.
If you have an unobstructed view, and the sky is clear, you should be able to enjoy the eclipse anywhere you want. The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum will also be having a free veiwing party from 10:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. – but watch their website because the event will be canceled if the sky turns out cloudy. (If it does – cross your fingers – you can watch a stream of it on timeanddate.com.)
Unlike a solar eclipse, it is safe to view a lunar eclipse with the naked eye – although the Canadian Space Agency suggests employing binoculars or a telescope to see it close-up. “You can even take a photo of a lunar eclipse with your cell phone under the right circumstances,” the agency says.
The next total lunar eclipse visible in Canada will be on May 26, 2021.