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What makes the moon look full?

This can happen only when the sun, the earth and the moon are perfectly aligned. Since the Moon's orbit is elliptical, one side (apogee) is about 30,000 miles (50,000 km) farther from Earth than the other (perigee).

While most of the world will be able to the see the super- and blue moons because it's tied to the eclipse, the odds of also seeing a blood moon depend on where one is. It is hard to see much without astronomical instruments during the penumbral eclipse. This occurs every 29.5 days, when the moon is directly opposite the sun relative to the Earth.

The January 31 supermoon will also be the second full Moon of the month.


"The supermoons are a great opportunity for people to start looking at the Moon, not just that once but every chance they have!" says Noah Petro, a research scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. This is when the outer shadow of the Earth begins to touch the moon's face, according to timeanddate. But twice in each lunar cycle, the moon does cross into our planet's orbital plane. A total lunar eclipse is dramatic, as the earth's shadow (umbra) completely covers the moon.

The Earth's atmosphere will filter out nearly all of the visible light, which is all the colors of the rainbow, except for orange and red, which is why the moon will appear reddish-orange. Hasan Al Hariri, CEO of Dubai Astronomy Group has stated that to observe this wonderful opportunity people are advised to go to a high point or finding an unobstructed area with free sight to east-northeast for the best view of the eclipse. This total lunar eclipse is called a #Super Blue Blood Moon because three moon events are going to take place on a single night. The next one visible in North America will be on January 21, 2019. Often cast in a reddish hue because of the way the atmosphere bends the light, totally eclipsed Moons are sometimes called 'blood Moons'. Although it does not have a scientific definition, a "blood moon" occurs during a lunar eclipse when faint red sunbeams peek out around the edges of the moon, giving it a reddish, copper color. During a sunset, the angle of the sun is lower in the sky and that red light instead passes directly into your eyes while the blue light is scattered away from your line of sight. But just what and how rare are super-, blue and blood moons?

And even in the Earth's shadow, enough sunlight will pass through the atmosphere to illuminate the moon. This is where the phrase "Once in a blue moon" comes from. There are two different definitions of blue moon. With this definition our next blue moon is in March, leaving February with no full moon this year. The well-known idiom actually refers to the rare instance when there is a second full moon in a calendar month.


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