Don’t Miss the First ‘Super Blue Blood Moon’ in 150 Years - RiseEarth

Don’t Miss the First ‘Super Blue Blood Moon’ in 150 Years


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by Kate Love; UPLIFT

A Rare Lunar Trifecta

Turn your eyes to the sky this week for a rare celestial event not seen in more than 150 years. A blue moon and lunar eclipse will combine with the moon being at its closest point to Earth, in what NASA is calling a ‘super blue blood moon.’

The lunar trifecta is set to take place on January 31 and stargazers in the western hemisphere will get the best show.


If you live in North America, Alaska, or Hawaii, the eclipse will be visible before sunrise on January 31. Gordon Johnston, program executive and lunar blogger at NASA explains:
Weather permitting, the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii will have a spectacular view of totality from start to finish. Unfortunately, eclipse viewing will be more challenging in the Eastern time zone.
The ‘super blue blood moon’ is a rare celestial event that has not been seen in 150 years.

For those in the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand, the ‘super blue blood moon’ can be seen during moonrise on the evening of the 31st. Johnston advises:
For the continental US, the viewing will be best in the west. Set your alarm early and go out and take a look.
According to NASA, this celestial event is special for three reasons:
  1. It’s the third in a series of ‘supermoons,’ when the moon is closer to the earth in its orbit–known as perigee–and about 14 percent brighter than usual.
  2. It’s the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a ‘blue moon.’ The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse.
  3. While the moon is in the Earth’s shadow, it will take on a reddish tint, known as a ‘blood moon.’

Professor Bill Boyd, from Southern Cross University in Australia, explained the significance of this convergence:
The spectacular thing this time is that it’s going to pass fully into the middle of the shade, and as it does it gets more and more covered in shadow.
The last time a blue moon, blood moon and solar eclipse occurred at the same time was in 1866. Each of these lunar phenomena occur regularly, but to have three separate conditions happen simultaneously is an event we will see only once in our lifetime, at best. Boyd continued:

This is an extremely unusual occurrence. It will be unlikely for all three celestial events to converge again within the next century.
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