Eclipse 2018: What is the Super Blue Blood Moon – phenomenon EXPLAINED | Science | News

The rare total takes place on Wednesday, January 31, combining a total of three lunar phenomenon: A supermoon, a blue moon and a blood moon.

Tom Kerss, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory, said: “There’s a huge amount of interest in super moons at the moment – a lot of interest in a full moon, but it could be a phase.

“There is just a renewed interest in moon watching and we did have some really unusually large super moons at the end of last year and the beginning of this year.

“Because we’ve got a second full moon this month, we actually have what we call a blue moon – more of a modern colloquialism, the definition sort of got changed in the 20th Century.

“A blue moon now is generally accepted as being the second full moon in a month, and because both of January’s moons are super moons, technically speaking, it’s quite an exciting month for moon watchers.”

Viewers can be expected to see a blue moon orbiting closer to the Earth than usual, making it seem 14 percent larger in the sky.

A blood moon will also be visible across parts of the world, a total eclipse turning the moon a coppery red colour.

NASA program executive Gordon Johnston said: “The next full Moon will be on Wednesday morning, January 31, 2018, appearing ‘opposite’ the Sun at 8:27 AM EST.

“The Moon will appear full for about three days around the time of the full Moon, from Monday night through Thursday morning, possibly even into the early part of Thursday evening.”

The whole eclipse will be visible in Australia, eastern Asia and parts of Canada, while the west coast of the US is also set for some spectacular views. 

Mr Johnston explained: “For the continental US, the viewing will be best in the West. Set your alarm early and go out and take a look.”

He added: “Weather permitting, the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii will have a spectacular view of totality from start to finish.”

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