A rare treat next week: Blue supermoon, lunar eclipse

Posted January 25, 2018

The moon will technically be the closest to the Earth (making it a supermoon) the night before, on Tuesday, January 30, but it seems like the experts are OK with considering this close enough to be a super blue blood moon anyway.

The eclipse will last around 77 minutes.

While the entire USA will get a partial view of the moon that day, NASA researchers say sky watchers in Alaska, California, and Hawaii will get the best look at the Super Blue Blood Moon. If that sounds familiar, it's because there was already a supermoon this month, on January 1, making the one later this month a "super blue moon". The total eclipse will last till 7.37 pm, after which the earth's shadow on moon will start retreating, turning it into a partial eclipse by 8.41 pm, after which the Moon will be fully visible once again.

But we have good news for everyone hoping to catch the blood moon 2018: The super blue blood moon can be seen from anywhere as long as it's nighttime.

What is a blue moon?

Finally, the super blue moon will pass through Earth's shadow giving it a total lunar eclipse in some areas. Because it is the second full moon of the month, it's called a "blue moon".

The eclipse will be harder to see in the lightening predawn sky, and the moon will set after 7 a.m.as the Sun rises, according to NASA. The darkness of the eclipse depends on the amount of dust in our atmosphere and on how deeply the moon penetrates the earth's shadow. "Unfortunately, eclipse viewing will be more challenging in the Eastern time zone". The term blood moon may also refer to a sequence of four total lunar eclipses that happen within two years, known as a lunar tetrad, said NASA. "The eclipse begins at 5:51 AM ET, as the Moon is about to set in the western sky, and the sky is getting lighter in the east". Instead of sunlight reflecting on the moon's surface, Earth's shadow falls on it.

Blue moon is called a full moon, which happens at an unusual time, or an extra full moon within the year.

Mythology - Cultures from all over the world have different explanations for lunar eclipses, according to National Geographic. Both of these eclipses will be total too.

To see the phenomenon, you need to be on the night side of the Earth; in Asia, Australia, the Pacific and North America.