We're having a loaded lunar trifecta on January 31

Jan 27, 2018, 16:44
We're having a loaded lunar trifecta on January 31

And fear not luna-tic's, Virtual Telescope will be streaming the event live for those of you unable to view it up close.

Why is it called a Super Blue Blood Moon?

Visible supermoons appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter than full moons that occur at the farthest point in the moon's orbit. 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. The next supermoon will be January 20, 2019. The well-known idiom actually refers to the rare instance when there is a second full moon in a calendar month. Due to 29.5 days lunar period, it is possible that two Full moons could fall in the same calendar month (except in the month of February which has only 28). "But this is definitely the first time anyone has called it a super blue blood moon". He says that it's important to keep in mind that the moon is a moving object: "It's a balancing act between trying to get the right exposure and realizing that the shutter speed typically needs to be a lot faster".

The space agency said: "With the total eclipse, it'll be a royal spectacle indeed: a "super blue blood" Moon". When this happens, the only light that reaches the moon will be filtered through Earth's atmosphere, stripping out the blue wavelengths and casting the moon red. During a sunset, the angle of the sun is lower in the sky and that red light instead passes directly into your eyes while the blue light is scattered away from your line of sight. You can find out what will happen in your city with this interactive eclipse map.

While it's also safe to assume the lunar eclipse will not draw the huge crowds of this summer's solar eclipse, B.C. residents are in a prime position to witness it, Boyle says. Australians will see another lunar eclipse in July this year, when the Earth, sun and moon come together again in ideal alignment.

In addition, this supermoon happens to fall during a lunar eclipse - an astral phenomena that hasn't occurred in 150 years. Totality will be during the 5 a.m. hour.

This would be a good time to explain each. Blue light is filtered out, leaving the moon looking reddish during an eclipse. What makes this event special is all three happening at the same time. For it to occur, the planets had to align.

The last time there was a blue moon total lunar eclipse was December 30, 1982, but that one was not visible in North America. For the eastern US, the last visible one was May 31, 1844. The moon orbits around the Earth and as a result we see different amounts of the lit-up side.

Americans living in the Central time zone will have a better view.

Partial eclipse ends at 7:11 a.m. The reddish tint from the eclipse is not expected until nearly an hour after the eclipse begins, around 6:48 a.m., but the moon will set less than a half an hour after that.

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