Every once in a while there’s something more than a dinosaur-shaped cloud in the sky to make you look up in awe, and tonight is one of those occasions. 

Tonight, beginning right around 9:30PM EST, the first and only total lunar eclipse of 2019 will begin. Make sure you’re caught up on the timing, location, and impressive scientific facts you need to know to make the most of this lunar eclipse.

What Is An Eclipse?

It’s the question so many of us wonder, but we’re afraid to ask. An eclipse occurs when one body, like the moon or the Earth, moves into the shadow of another body. We witnessed a major solar eclipse back in August 2017, when the orbiting moon moved between the sun and Earth and blocked the light of the sun from reaching Earth. 

Tonight’s lunar eclipse, on the other hand, will occur when the Earth moves between the sun and the moon. When this happens, Earth blocks the sunlight that normally is reflected by the moon. As a result, the moon looks dark from Earth. 

What You Need To Know About Tonight’s Lunar Eclipse

Tonight’s total lunar eclipse will be the last until May 26, 2012, so take a close look! 

It will last for 5 hours from start to finish. One hour of that time will be the full eclipse when the moon is completely covered by the Earth’s shadow. 

To make tonight’s eclipse even more impressive, it’s also a Super Wolf Blood Moon. In other words, the Full Moon will reach the point on its orbit closest to Earth during the eclipse. You can expect to see the moon turn a dramatic shade of red during totality!

Best of all? You don’t need eye protection for a lunar eclipse! Those fun glasses are only necessary during solar eclipses, so you can enjoy tonight without risking your 20/20 vision. 

Who Can See the Eclipse, and When?

People across the world in North and South America, Europe, and western African will all be able to view the total lunar eclipse. If you’re in Central and eastern Africa and Asia, you’ll still be able to catch a partial eclipse of the moon. 

The very first signs of the eclipse will creep into the sky around 2:36AM UTC (9:36PM EST) and continue becoming more noticeable until the full eclipse begins at 4:41AM UTC (11:41PM EST). 

If you don’t have time to watch the entire eclipse, be sure to run outside right around 5:12AM UTC (12:12AM EST) to catch the maximum full eclipse before it ends at 5:43 AM UTC (12:43AM EST). 

Need more information? This site covers every single detail: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2019-january-21

We may be an IT solutions company, but we’re space nerds at heart. Our name, Totality Solutions, was inspired by the solar eclipse that took place on August 21, 2017. The totality of that eclipse occurred in our hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, and suddenly our name was born.