Jan 27 2018
There's a lunar eclipse coming next Wednesday and already some websites are calling it a blood moon, supermoon and blue moon in one breathless package. We'll only have three this winter, so the January 31 full moon won't be blue by this definition.
The supermoon competes with seasonal lights in Wells, England, on January 1. It will appear its biggest and brightest because of a "moon illusion" effect that's created when you are able to compare the lunar body to other objects for scale, like buildings and foliage. A full moon that happens near perigee is called a supermoon by some.
A supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with its closest approach during orbit to Earth, known as a perigee. "The difference in size is very hard for our eyes to discern, but the moon will probably be noticeably bright". People in the U.S. will have to get up before dawn to see it - while the Middle East and Asia will share the more convenient evening show as Australia and New Zealand.
On winter nights the Earth faces away from the center of the Milky Way and toward its bright spiral arm.
"Because then we're going to see that whole entire eclipse, providing it's clear then", Nichols says. Same moon, just looks a little larger than normal. We'll actually have another blue moon in March; February won't have one at all.
And there you have it: a super blue blood moon.
This latest supermoon, however, is also dubbed a "blue" moon because it will be the second full moon this month. "They expect to see something spectacular - and it is awesome even if that might be true of most full moons when viewed on the horizon". The Blue Moon occurs once in every 2.7 years. We'll now have a break for a few years, so everyone can calm down. "If you live in North America, Alaska, or Hawaii, the eclipse will be visible before sunrise on January 31", NASA said in an official release.
And the "blood moon" business?
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The space agency said: "With the total eclipse, it'll be a royal spectacle indeed: a "super blue blood" Moon".
The moon will appear blood red when it is fully within the Earth's shadow. That refers to the total lunar eclipse that results in the moon's reddish or copper color as it is illuminated by sunlight filtered and refracted by the earth's atmosphere.
"You're basically seeing all the world's sunrises and sunsets at that moment reflected off the surface of the Moon, so it should be quite spectacular".
What is a super blue blood moon? Noble told Newsweek that "For this eclipse, much of the US will be racing against sunrise".
If you're hoping to catch the eclipse, here's how you can see it.
If you're up for it, you can also always try photographing the moon during the partial eclipse, but for those in Winnipeg and farther east, you'll need to be somewhere high up with an unrestricted view of the horizon.
NASA A NASA graphic showcases a timeline for the upcoming eclipse.
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