On Jan. 31, sky-watchers will get a rare triple treat: a supermoon, a blue moon, and a total lunar eclipse. The moon's orbit is not perfectly circular, meaning its distance from Earth varies as it goes through one cycle. Sometimes it's closer (known as its perigee) and sometime it's further away (known as its apogee).
The moon is closer to Earth in its orbit and 14 percent brighter than usual, making it a super moon.
Psyched about the upcoming super blue blood moon? Astronomers refer to this orbital proximity as perigee - a word with Greek origins that means "close to the earth" - thus this full moon was a perigean full moon. But don't let the exciting name fool you: to the casual observer, supermoons don't look much bigger than on an average night.
On Jan 31, watch out for a celestial phenomenon that will occur after 150 years For the first time in 150 years, an extraordinary total lunar eclipse is to occur on January 31.
So if you're on the West Coast, the "super blue blood moon" may be worth waking up early for. That is the time when the sun is on one side of Earth and the moon is on the opposite side.
In the case of a lunar eclipse, the sunlight that makes it around Earth passes through our atmosphere and is refracted toward the moon.
Lunar eclipses usually occur a few times year.
"So for viewers in NY or Washington, D.C., the Moon will enter the outer part of Earth's shadow at 5:51 a.m., but (lunar blogger Gordon) Johnston said it won't be all that noticeable".
"Blood moon" is a phrase used to describe the reddish color the moon takes on during the totality phase of the eclipse. Perhaps I will have better luck on January 31 and the supermoon will rise on an equally clear, windless, but not-so-cold night - conditions that align only once in a blue moon.
Here in the Kawarthas, we'll only see a partial lunar eclipse.
To get an original shot, Ingalls suggests taking a picture that puts the moon in context of a local landmark, something that gives your photo a sense of place. Instead a partial lunar eclipse of only about 17% is expected around moon set (6:58 AM) Wednesday.
But if you remove the blue moon element, which is just an effect of how we've structured our calendar, "Super Blood Moons" aren't all that rare. In March we'll have a full moon on the 1st and a blue moon on the 31st. A blue supermoon eclipse. January's full moon, for example, is known as the Full Wolf Moon. A "Blue Moon" is a 2nd full Moon in one calendar month. The first, and was the biggest Americans will see year. The moon itself can in-fact appear blue, but it takes an abundance of dust or smoke particles in the atmosphere, which happened after forest fires in Sweden and Canada in 1950 and 1951, and after the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, which caused the moon to appear blue for almost two years.