Europe: Lisbon, Berlin and Prague to enjoy best views of Sunday night's lunar eclipse

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
January 20, 2019, 11:25:59 PM EST


Residents across Europe will be treated to a lunar eclipse right before the moon sets late Sunday night, where the weather cooperates.

While the entirety of the lunar eclipse will be visible in North America and South America, those in Europe who wake up early enough will not be disappointed.

Totality, the time when the moon will turn rusty orange or red, will be seen from Greece, western Ukraine, Belarus and points to the north and west. The moon will set before totality is over across Turkey and southwestern Russia.

Places north and west of Rome and Warsaw will even get to witness the moon fully escaping the Earth's shadow before it sets—only if clouds do not interfere.

A clear sky should offer residents in the Czech Republic, much of Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg a perfect opportunity to view the eclipse. Portions of southern Poland and northern France may also have a clear sky as well.

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Skygazers will need to bundle up with temperatures expected to range from 10 below to 3 below zero C (14 to 27 F) late Sunday night.

It will not be as frigid in Lisbon, Portugal, and Seville, Spain, where clouds are anticipated to be largely absent. Some clouds may return to Madrid around the time of the eclipse but not enough to ruin the show.

There can be low-hanging clouds around London as well as Warsaw, Poland, and Minsk, Belarus, the extent of which will determine how much of the eclipse will be visible in and around these cities. Though some breaks in the clouds should allow for glimpses of the eclipse.

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Clouds from an approaching storm can ruin the show across the northern British Isles as a little rain and clouds plague central and southern Italy — Rome included.

Residents from northern Romania to central Ukraine will be dealing with snow on Sunday night instead of trying to view the eclipse.

Download the free AccuWeather app to get more precise information on the weather expected for your community during the eclipse.

total lunar eclipse gif


Sunday night’s total lunar eclipse will appear similar to those in the past but has been given the unofficial nickname of the "super blood wolf moon."

“Although it's a bit of a silly-sounding name, it does have a basis in some real phenomena,” said Caleb Scharf, director of astrobiology at Columbia University.

The term "blood moon" has emerged in recent years due to the color the moon turns during the height of a total lunar eclipse.

“‘Blood Moon' is not a term used in astronomy. It’s more of a popular phrase, perhaps because it sounds so dramatic. It simply refers to a total lunar eclipse,” according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac website.

This eclipse also falls during the first supermoon of 2019, when the moon appears slightly larger than normal.

Preceding the terms "supermoon" and "blood moon," a Full Wolf Moon is simply the name bestowed upon January’s full moon.

“In Native American and early Colonial times, the full moon for January was called the Full Wolf Moon. It appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages,” the Old Farmer’s Almanac reported.

These three terms have been combined to form a long-winded nickname for the upcoming lunar eclipse.

No special equipment or glasses are needed to view the lunar eclipse, but give yourself some time to adjust to the lighting of the sky in your area.

“A pair of basic binoculars would be fun; you'll definitely get more out of the experience,” Scharf said.

Binoculars or a telescope will reveal more details on the moon’s surface, such as smaller craters speckled across its surface.

The eclipse will also bring a window for photographers to take breathtaking pictures of the night sky, as the eclipsed moon will greatly reduce the amount of natural light pollution filling the sky.

The darkened sky will also make it easier to spot some stray shooting stars.

Those excited for the next lunar eclipse across Europe will not have to wait long. Residents in Europe will join those in Asia, Africa, Australia and South America in witnessing a partial lunar eclipse during the night of July 16, 2019.

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