Skoll the wolf who shall scare the Moon

Lunar eclipse

Tomorrow morning sees a lunar eclipse, so lock up your daughters, kennel the dog, and hope that the event doesn’t presage the return of the antichrist. If you are an adventurous soul and wish to watch the spectacle, let’s hope that the skies are clear where you are.

For UK observers the eclipse begins at 00:35 UTC (GMT) when the Moon enters the lightest part of the Earth’s shadow, the penumbra. At 01:42 our rocky satellite begins to enter the dark core of the shadow, the umbra, and at 03:01 it will be completely within the umbra – totality. By 06:17 it will all be over when the Moon leaves the penumbra on the other side.

Sköll heitir ulfr,
er fylgir inu skírleita goði
til varna viðar,
en annarr Hati,
hann er Hróðvitnis sonr,
sá skal fyr heiða brúði himins.
Skoll the wolf who shall scare the Moon
Till he flies to the Wood-of-Woe:
Hati the wolf, Hridvitnir’s kin,
Who shall pursue the Sun.

From the Norse saga Grimnismál (The lay of Grimnir). Original text from Guðni Jónsson’s version; English translation by WH Auden & PB Taylor.