emfizz.com January 17, 2018

Experience Rare Lunar Eclipse With Blue Moon on January 31st

05 January 2018, 12:56 | Bernard Bryant

Top 8 Must-See Sky Events for 2018

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The first full moon of the month shined on New Year's Day, and the second will peak on January 31 - marking the blue moon event.

This will be the first eclipse of 2018.

In a Blue Moon, the moon doesn't actually appear blue; instead, the name indicates that it is the second full moon in a particular month.

The eclipse will take place during the middle of the night, and the Pacific Ocean will be turned toward the moon at the time.

This NASA chart by eclipse expert Fred Espenak details the visibility range and times for the January 31, 218 total lunar eclipse, which also occurs during a blue moon and near a supermoon.

Dedicated stargazers say that it is the first time there has been a "super blue blood moon" for 150 years.

A supermoon rises behind a statue of George Washington on Monday Jan. 1 2018 in Trenton New Jersey. AP
A supermoon rises behind a statue of George Washington on Monday Jan. 1 2018 in Trenton New Jersey. AP

Noah Petro, a research scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center said: "The lunar eclipse on January 31 will be visible during moonset".

From a Supermoon to Harvest and Beaver moons to the solar eclipse, 2017 was a pretty good year for sky watchers. But before that spacecraft takes off, China needs to send a communications satellite to hang out above the far side of the Moon and pass signals back to Earth, which could happen as early as June. The moon will appear bigger and brighter in the sky. The phrase "once in a blue moon" was derived from this phenomenon to signify rarity. It is also the single largest dent on the moon's surface. The supermoon in 2018 was seen 14 percent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than the one seen in July past year. This year, however, will see two occurrences of two full moons in a month, with the second blue moon occurring on 31 March.

A supermoon is a moon that is full when it is also at or near its closest point in its orbit around Earth, according to NASA.

So, the upcoming eclipse on January 31 will be the first total eclipse of a Blue Moon in almost 152 years! "But it's another great chance to watch the moon".

A blood moon happens during a total or a partial lunar eclipse.

"Often cast in a reddish hue because of the way the atmosphere bends the light, totally eclipsed Moons are sometimes called 'blood moons'".

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