Don't miss the totally eclipsed supermoon on January 31

Don't miss the totally eclipsed supermoon on January 31

On Jan. 31, sky-watchers will get a rare triple treat: a supermoon, a blue moon, and a total lunar eclipse.

Next week our solar system will deliver unto us a Super Blue Blood Moon.

So, a "supermoon" is when a full moon occurs at the same time as its perigee, the closest point of the moon's orbit with Earth.

Contrary to the azure moniker, a blue moon is simply regarded as the second full moon in one calendar month, which ranges from 28 to 31 days. The effect of the total lunar eclipse begins in Kearney at 4:51 a.m. when the penumbra, the edge of the Earth's shadow, touches the moon.

Once in a blue moon is only once every few years, but once in a super, blue, blood moon is just once every few decades.

NASA says those in the eastern part of the USA will have just a half an hour, starting at 6:45 a.m., to see the phenomenon before the moon sets at 7:15 a.m. on the 31st.

According to NASA, the key to a moon appearing blue is to have lots of particles slightly wider than the wavelength of red light (0.7 micron) and no other sizes present in the air.

A global map showing areas of the world that will experience (weather permitting) the January 31, 2018 "super blue blood moon".

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The term "blue moon" is also far from scientific and has had suffered some quarrels over its definition.

The special pre-dawn full moon will rise on January 31. But that means that the next month, February, is without a full moon.

When and where is best to see this thing?

From the perspective of someone standing on the totality eclipsed moon looking back toward the Earth, they see a darkened globe rimmed in a red glow comprised of 360 degrees of sunrises and sunsets around the globe.

Lunar eclipses happen about twice a year.

"The sun, Earth and moon line up so perfectly that the Earth's shadow blocks the sun", Noble said. The moon sets before total eclipse here ME and the entire East Coast. So a clear view of the western horizon is key to watching this lunar eclipse. The Earth's reddish shadow will be noticeable on the moon by about 6:15 a.m. CST.

The moon will be visible in large parts of United States, northeastern Europe, Russia, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific and Australia.

At a time of year when the sun tends to monopolise attention, the moon is getting in on the act with a triple whammy. 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. NASA coverage will start at 5:30 AM Eastern time and end at 11:30 AM Eastern time. The moon will not actually appear purple, nor will have it a cape-but January 31 is a great time to gaze up and enjoy the night sky.

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