Super Blue Blood Lunar Eclipse Moon, coming early Wednesday!

Doug Carpenter
January 27, 2018

So, if you don't catch the super blue blood moon, there's another lunar eclipse next January. Please feel free to share them with our community here. "Set your alarm early and go out and take a look".

Lunar eclipses or "blood moons" occur when the moon, in its orbit around the Earth, passes through the Earth's shadow opposite the sun, known also as the umbra shadow.

31, sky watchers in the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii will be treated to a "super blue blood moon" eclipse.

People living in certain parts of the Western Hemisphere will be able to see a reddish and unusually large moon glowing on the celestial stage early in the morning on January 31.

While there is plenty of folklore about the effect of full moons, from werewolves to sleeplessness, the impact here on earth is minimal, even during a supermoon.

Once in a blue moon there's a reason to get up in the middle of the night.

A blue moon - which isn't blue at all, unless the atmosphere is choking with garbage - is the second full moon to fall within the same calendar month. It's been over 130 years since this last happened, and it won't happen again for a heck of a long time!

Despite the name, blue moons aren't actually blue but white. Nolle arbitrarily defined a super moon as a full moon which occurs when the moon is within 90 percent of its closest approach to Earth in any given orbital cycle. If there is a second moon in the same month it is called "Blue Moon" (not blue in colour). Because the moon's orbit is inclined to Earth's orbit and Earth's shadow at the moon's distance only covers a little bit of sky (just 2.5 degrees), the full moon nearly always misses the target, sliding either above it or below it. But just what and how rare are super-, blue and blood moons? According to NASA, "full moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the moon's orbit". Two blue moons in one year only happens three to five times a century, according to, with the last double taking place in 1999 and the next in 2037. Viewers on the East coast will see the start of the eclipse just before dawn, possibly catching the the moon just beginning to take on a reddish hue before it sets.

"If you happen to be on the wrong side of the Earth, you'll miss it", Aufdenberg said, adding that Florida tends to be a poor area for viewing lunar eclipses. In March we'll have a full moon on the 1st and a blue moon on the 31st. 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".

On average, a blue moon occurs once every couple of years. We'll only have three this winter, so the January 31 full moon won't be blue by this definition. The best views are all around sunrise or earlier.

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