How to Watch the Only Lunar Eclipse in Hawai‘i in 2019

Our three tips for seeing the only total lunar eclipse we'll see until 2021.

Photo: NASA Ames Research Center/Brian Day

The total lunar eclipse of April 15, 2014.

Meteor showers are always fun, but it usually means keeping the kids up past bedtime or dragging them out from under their covers way before sunrise.

Thankfully, lunar eclipses occur during a much more family-friendly time period. This year, Hawai‘i will only see one—but it should be a great one.

On Sunday, Jan. 20, families will be able to see not just one astronomical phenomenon, but two. The total lunar eclipse will happen during a supermoon. That means that kids will be able to watch the moon turn red in the shadow of the earth, and it will be larger and more impressive than usual because the moon will be at its closest point to us.

Cool kid fact: Some are calling this the “super blood wolf moon” for three reasons. First, it is a supermoon. Second, lunar eclipses are sometimes called “blood moons” because the moon appears red when it passes into the earth’s shadow. And third, full moons in January are referred to as “wolf moons” in some cultures because wolfs would howl at it in winter.

Here are our tips for catching this early evening event.

Our 3 Tips

1. Get settled during sunset. The Bishop Museum says the moon is in the full shadow of the earth shortly after it rises. So this year, in fact, the eclipse will begin while the moon is still below our horizon. Here’s the timeline:

  • 6:14 p.m.-The sun will begin setting.
  • 6:41 p.m.-The total eclipse begins.
  • 7:12 p.m.-Greatest eclipse.
  • 7:43 p.m.-Total eclipse ends.

2. Make sure you can see all the way east. The moon will only be about 13 degrees above the horizon. The Bishop Museum’s website explains this as about the height of an adult fist with the thumb not tucked in. (Note that a shaka, described on Mainland sites as “a clenched fist with the thumb and little finger extended,” measures about 25 degrees.) So if trees or buildings block your view east, you may miss it.

3. If the clouds roll in, go online. Unfortunately, our weekend weather is calling for possible showers so clouds could cover the whole moment. says you can still watch it through the Virtual Telescope Project.

If you miss it, mark your calendar for the next total lunar eclipse on May 26, 2021. As for supermoons, the full moon will move closest to the earth two more times in the first half of the year: Feb. 19 and March 21.

Want to know more? Read about lunar and solar eclipses, the distance from earth to the moon and other kid-friendly science facts on NASA SpacePlace.