CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The super blood wolf Moon Eclipse is occurring Sunday evening, but don't let the name worry you -- the event is a standard lunar eclipse with a few different aspects.
What's special about this eclipse?
The name originates from the moon's location to earth, apparent color and the time of year that the eclipse is happening.
Since it's a super-moon, the moon will be the closest point to Earth in its orbit. It will appear about 30 percent brighter and 14 percent bigger, or "super."
As the Earth passes between the moon and the sun, the moon will take a "blood" red sort of color caused by Earth's atmosphere. The "wolf" aspect is due to the first full moon of the year, referred to as a wolf moon.
You can expect to see the eclipse starting around 10:35 p.m. on Sunday, if clouds aren't in the way.
When's the next lunar eclipse?
The next total lunar eclipse won't be until May 26, 2021.
Brian Murphy, director of the Holcomb Observatory & Planetarium and Butler University professor, said there's typically two lunar eclipses each year. As for total lunar eclipses, they come about every two years.
"They aren't technically rare," he told The Indianapolis Star. "In clear weather, half the earth can see it."
So what all can you expect?
The main attraction is the total lunar eclipse -- this is when the moon passes fully into the Earth's shadow.
The maximum eclipse is expected to be at 12:12 a.m. on Monday morning, if you hope to stay awake for the whole event.
Murphy told The Indianapolis Star that stars could look brighter, more visible during the entire eclipse as the moon will be a fraction of its usual brightness -- what could be a nice treat for those in the city.
Murphy said the eclipse will be visible as it goes through several stages Sunday night.
"The moon starts to enter into the earth's shadow in a portion called the umbra, when the sun is totally blocked out," Murphy said. "Earth is moving from right to left through the shadow."
How to watch the lunar eclipse
The best chance of seeing the total lunar eclipse is underneath a clear sky, but even with some clouds you could still get a decent view.
Do you need special equipment to see it?
Unlike the solar eclipse of 2017, you don't need any sort of special equipment to view the eclipse.
You can view it without the aid of any glasses, but if you hope to take a picture of it you might want to find a telescope of a pair of binoculars to get a closer look at the phenomenon.
What will it be like in Charlotte?
In the Charlotte metro area, you can expect mainly clear skies Sunday night -- optimal for viewing a lunar eclipse.
Skies will remain clear going into Martin Luther King Day.
It won't be warm, though. Instead, expect a very cold night with temperature lows dipping into the teens and 20s.