Experience Rare Lunar Eclipse With Blue Moon on January 31st

Posted January 05, 2018

A full moon, known as the Blue Moon is seen over Loosely Row, near Princes Risborough, southeast England, July 31, 2015. This isn't the actual super moon awaited by the skygazers.

Once in a blue moon?

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By definition, a Supermoon is a full moon that appears when the moon reaches its closest orbital point to Earth.

There are traditional names like "wolf" or "harvest" for the first full moon of a month each year. New Year's Day brought a stunning supermoon to the night sky, shining bigger and brighter than a normal full moon. While the saying "once in a blue moon" suggests rarity, these events are more common than you might think. In New York, the eclipse will take place as the moon is setting, making it invisible.

The moon can also look bigger if it is close to the horizon.

The upcoming moon will end what NASA calls a "supermoon trilogy". The moon experiences perigree once per orbit, but that doesn't always coincide with a full moon. This happens when the earth is in a position between the moon and the soon which blots out the view of the moon. The perigee is the nearest point to Earth in the lunar orbit.

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SOMERSET skygazers were treated to "the biggest and brightest" supermoon of the year as it rose across the United Kingdom on New Year's Day.

The maximum phase of the total lunar eclipse will happen at around 8.37 am EST, or 1.37 pm GMT, according to the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Blue Moons happen every two-and-a-half years on average, so, with the total eclipse, it will be a royal spectacle - a "super blue blood" moon, Nasa said. Most recently, Vancouver was treated to a stunning supermoon on the first day of 2018. As sunlight is filtered through the Earth's atmosphere it creates a glowing reddish hue on the surface of the moon.

The UK, most of Africa and much of the Americas won't get to see anything of the eclipse, since the moon will be hiding around the other side of the world. Alaska, Hawaii and northwestern Canada will see the eclipse from start to finish. For the rest of the mainland US, the eclipse will be partial.

Some people including Nasa are referring to it as a super blue blood moon, and whatever you call it, it will make for a lovely, odd night. "The lunar eclipse on January 31 will be visible during moonset".