How to watch the 'blue moon' lunar eclipse

Steve Phelps
January 27, 2018

When this super blue moon passes through the Earth's shadow, resulting in a total lunar eclipse, it takes on a reddish tint, hence the name "blood moon". What makes this event special is all three happening at the same time.

But the total lunar eclipse itself - although a wonderful thing to see - isn't the big deal.

The "Blood Moon" part of super blue blood moon simply refers to a lunar eclipse.

"Also, during a super moon, more people are likely to go outside to see it", Pierce said.

Where the moon is covered by the Earth's shadow, known as the period of totality, it will last just over one and a quarter hours, according to EarthSky.

Once in a blue moon there's a reason to get up in the middle of the night. With the sun's light no longer directly reflecting from the moon's surface, scattered sunlight from the Earth falls on the moon, transforming it from white to blood-red in appearance. As moon doesn't have its own light, it reflects sun's light.

A supermoon is when the moon comes closest to the earth in its orbit.

The good news for bloody moon fans is that the moon being in the umbra combined with the usual reddening of the moon when it's close to the horizon will make the moon extra bloody! We call that a supermoon. A supermoon also tends to be about 14 percent brighter than regular full moons, per NASA. Because of that ellipse shape, every month the moon has a minimum distance to the Earth at just over 221,000 miles called perigee, and its maximum distance dubbed apogee at almost 253,000 miles from our terrestrial home. You can decide for yourself how impressive that is. There are two different definitions of blue moon. A "Blue Moon" is a 2nd full Moon in one calendar month. He said that moon revolves around the earth in an elliptical orbit.

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So on January 31, the world will be treated to a perigee blue moon total lunar eclipse.

In an interview with Newsweek, NASA planetary geologist Sarah Noble elaborated on what exactly is significant about this rare Super Blue Blood Moon.

This can be exacerbated by particles in the atmosphere, such as a volcanic eruption.

Think about it this way: You have two huge balls of rock that are passing by each other in an even more enormous void of virtual emptiness.

"The sun, Earth and moon line up so perfectly that the Earth's shadow blocks the sun..." The moon orbits our planet from between 233,000 miles and 253,000 miles away. What's not to be fascinated by? The visibility of all three at once will vary, but you'll be able to see at least one or two of the events with the knowledge that all three are occurring for the first time in 150 years.

The eclipse will happen just before sunrise. That means there were people who lived and died on this Earth without ever having had a chance to see this phenomenon, which won't reappear again for another decade. If you are living in Antarctica right now, you're out of luck.

Where can I see it?

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