Be sure to set an early alarm for a super blue blood moon slated to grace the Hawaiian Islands, Alaska and western parts of North America on Wednesday, January 31, NASA reports. Two blue moons in a calendar year only happens four to five times a century.
In addition, the full moon (10:47 am Wednesday) is also the second of the month, which is the "Blue Moon". Add in a little "moon illusion" and the appearance is, in a word, super!. On average that only happens about every two-and-a-half years. Lunar eclipses are fun because you can look straight at them, but blood?
Noah Petro, a research scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said: "The supermoons are a great opportunity for people to start looking at the Moon, not just that once but every chance they have!" The whole thing will last a couple hours, from when the shadow of the Earth first hits the moon until it finally leaves.
We've come to expect a full moon every month.
While we have our months to help us keep track of the schedule, early Native American tribes kept tabs on time by observing the seasons and employing the celestial clock known as the moon.
The total lunar eclipse will be visible in the western United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, large parts of Russian Federation and China, and parts of the Middle East. Totality, when the moon will be cast a blood red, begins at 4:52 a.m. PST, peaks at greatest eclipse at 5:30 a.m., and concludes at 6:08 a.m., spanning an hour and 16 minutes. When it is at its closest point, the moon appears about 14 percent larger than when it is farthest away from Earth, Aufdenberg said.
Robert Astalos, professor of physics, encourages the campus and community to view the full lunar eclipse on January 31.
As the sky begins to brighten, the moon will just be entering the outer part of the Earth's shadow, making the eclipse hard to see, Johnson said. The next time we have two blue moons in a calendar year won't be until 2037. It will appear its biggest and brightest because of a "moon illusion" effect that's created when you are able to compare the lunar body to other objects for scale, like buildings and foliage. Total lunar eclipses by themselves are not that rare, usually happening a few times a year. The Virtual Telescope project provides a livestream of the supermoon's eclipse over Rome's skyline, beginning at 6:30am ET (11:30am UTC).
"Blood moon" is a phrase used to describe the reddish color the moon takes on during the totality phase of the eclipse. Enjoy it while it lasts because the moon will quickly set at 7:53 a.m.
The good news for bloody moon fans is that the moon being in the umbra combined with the usual reddening of the moon when it's close to the horizon will make the moon extra bloody!
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This celestial phenomenon, which is set to occur on the night of January 31, 2018, is claimed to occur only once in 150 years. During a Supermoon , the moon appears up to 30 percent brighter than a regular full moon that doesn't have a cool name.
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