Tags: supermoon | blue moon | lunar eclipse

Supermoon, Blue Moon, Lunar Eclipse All Coming Jan. 31

Image: Supermoon, Blue Moon, Lunar Eclipse All Coming Jan. 31
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By    |   Wednesday, 24 January 2018 07:56 AM

A supermoon, a blue moon, and a total lunar eclipse are all coming next week with the triple phenomena happening Jan. 31.

USA Today reported it is rare to get all three occurrences happening in such a short period of time. EarthSky.org reported it will be the first Blue Moon total eclipse in 150 years.

A blue moon does not refer to the moon actually turning blue, but is another term for the second full moon in a single calendar month, USA Today said. This happens once every 2½ years. January's first full moon happened on New Year's Day.

A total lunar eclipse happens when Earth's shadow completely covers the moon, Space.com reported.

"The lunar eclipse on Jan. 31 will be visible during moonset," Noah Petro, a research scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said on the space agency's website. "Folks in the Eastern United States, where the eclipse will be partial, will have to get up in the morning to see it. But it's another great chance to watch the moon."

Moons in a total eclipse are sometimes called "blood moons" because they can be seen with a reddish hue because of the way the atmosphere bends the light, NASA said.

"We're seeing all of the Earth's sunrises and sunsets at that moment reflected from the surface of the moon," said Sarah Noble, a program scientist at NASA headquarters.

A supermoon happens when the full moon is at the closest point of its orbit to the Earth, which is also called the perigee, USA Today said. The phenomena makes the moon look up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than a full moon at its farthest point from Earth, known as the apogee.

"The supermoons are a great opportunity for people to start looking at the Moon, not just that once but every chance they have," Petro said.

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A supermoon, a blue moon, and a total lunar eclipse are all coming next week with the triple phenomena happening Jan. 31.
supermoon, blue moon, lunar eclipse
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2018-56-24
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 07:56 AM
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