U.S. (1/20/19) — The only total lunar eclipse this year occurs tonight, beginning 8:36 p.m. that will peak as the earth’s shadow completely covers the moon at 10:41 p.m. At that point, the moon will appear blood red for about an hour.

NASA explains eclipses occur when the sun, moon and earth align, and can only happen during a full moon.

Forecasters predict skies will be partly cloudy tonight. It also will be cold, with lows expected to dip to 14 degrees.

Not only is it a total lunar eclipse, the January full moon, historically known as the native "wolf moon," will appear 14 percent larger or "super", because it will be closer to the earth’s surface, making it a “super blood wolf moon eclipse event.” 

Although science debunks the notion that a full moon is related to “lunacy,” health professionals claim otherwise.

According to a 1987 Journal of Emergency Medicine article, 80 percent of emergency room nurses and 64 percent of ER doctors selected at random claimed problems increase during a full moon. Most of the nurses said they should receive more pay during the celestial event.

In a 1970s book, “How the Moon Affects You,” psychiatrist Arnold Lieber wrote the moon does affect humans due to gravitational pull on ocean tides.

In the 1800s, lawyers in England defended clients based on “lunacy” due to full moons. Before the use of modern-day electricity, it was believed the brightness of a full moon disrupted sleep and caused irritability.

Superstitions documented during the 17th and 18th centuries included humans transformed into werewolves during full moons. Ancient Greek scholars thought the pull of the moon turned people into raging lunatics.

A comparison study published by General Hospital Psychiatry about moon phases and psychological symptoms including panic attacks and other mood disorders in Canadian hospital records, found no evidence to suggest the moon affected human behavior.

However, scientists say animals, particularly marine life, do respond to changes in light and tides related to instinctual circadian rhythm. Owls are known to make less noise during a full moon to avoid predators, and doodlebugs dig larger holes to trap prey during full moons.

SurfKY News

Photo credit: NASA/Rami Daud

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