'Super Blue Blood Moon' coming January 31 in rare space event

Olive Hawkins
January 22, 2018

It will be a full moon special event for three reasons: It's the third in a series of "supermoons".

Of course, being able to view the Super Blue Blood Moon is weather permitting, so make sure to stay with us here at TV5 for the weather forecast on this special day. During a perigee, the moon is about 14 percent brighter than usual.

A "Supermoon" is generally defined when the moon is slightly closer to the Earth and appears slightly larger in the sky (although this is hard to see with the naked eye.) A "Blue Moon" is when there's a second full moon in a month. Despite the saying, "once in a blue moon", these moons turn out about once every 2.7 years.

As well as being a supermoon and a blue moon, January 31 will also have a lunar eclipse - when the moon passes behind Earth and falls into its shadow.

January's lunar eclipse will be visible across the entire U.S. early Wednesday just before moonset
January's lunar eclipse will be visible across the entire U.S. early Wednesday just before moonset

For more information about the "Super Blue Blood Moon", visit NASA's website. The month's first moon happened on January 1. The moon will be inside the Earth's shadow for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Calculations show that at its closest point to earth, the moon is 3,56,400km away while at apogee, or the farthest point of orbit, it can be at a distance of 4,06,700km.

Residents living in the Central Time Zone will have the best viewing since the action begins when the Moon is higher in the western sky on January 31, according to NASA officials. The next total lunar eclipse visible from India will be on July 27, 2018, but it will not be a blue moon or super moon.

While the Moon is in the Earth's shadow, it will take on a reddish tint, known as a "blue moon".

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