4 tips for viewing the super blue blood moon

Javier Stokes
January 31, 2018

Ranchi/Patna: Chief minister Raghubar Das has directed all 28 urban local bodies of Jharkhand to switch off street lights for an hour on Wednesday for people to enjoy a rare celestial event that will make the moon bloom red, like a giant rose in the post-dusk sky. Almost 152 years later, the trifecta celestial event dubbed as the Super Blue Blood Moon will occur again just before sunrise January 31, 2018.

The US East Coast and Europe will have trouble seeing the "super blue blood moon" of 2018, but anyone can watch via a YouTube Live webcast hosted by a company called Slooh.

Super moons appear 14-percent bigger and 30-percent brighter than a regular full moon.

A "Blue Moon" actually has two definitions.

A blue moon is a full moon that comes twice in the same month. The Moon is full for the second time this calendar month.

About two-thirds of the United States - including the East, South and Southwest - will have generally fair skies on Wednesday morning, allowing for a view of the lunar eclipse as long as the moon is in the sky. This is caused by the earth's atmosphere bending red light into the planet's shadow while scattering the blue wavelengths. At 4:48 a.m. the darker inner shadow, the umbra, begins to show its face covering the whole moon by 5:51 a.m. Totality starts at 6:51 a.m. Look out to the west for maximum visibility at approximately 7:21 a.m.

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"If you want to land someplace, you want to be sure you land someplace that is safe and relatively rock-free, but you also want to land someplace that you know your foot pads are not going to sink in to 18 inches or 2 feet or something like that and give you a bad day", Elphic says.

If there are too many clouds, or you don't wake up in time, the next time you will be able to see this lunar combination will be in 2037. The last time one was visible in North America was March 31, 1866.

What's been dubbed as a "super blue blood moon" will take place Wednesday morning. When can you see all the yummy moon surprises?

In that moment of total eclipse, the temperature on the moon also plummets about 100 degrees, offering a rare opportunity for scientists to observe the lunar surface as it cools.

If you miss this one, the next blue moon total lunar eclipse will happen on December 31, 2028, though it won't be quite as large since the moon will not be at its closest point to Earth.

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