Super Blue Blood Moon 2018

Super Blue Blood Moon 2018

Super Blue Blood Moon 2018

But what does that clumsy phrase really mean?

The phenomenon known as a "blue supermoon" will light skies up on January 31st. So what you'll see Wednesday is a super blue blood moon - the first in 150 years. No full moon for February!

According to NASA, the moon will be 223,068 miles from Earth, rather than the usual 238,855 miles. As Donald W. Olson, Richard Tresch Fienberg, and Roger Sinnott write for Sky and Telescope, the blue moon disagreement can be traced back to 1946, when James Hugh Pruett wrote an article for Sky and Telescope called "Once in a Blue Moon". Super Moon appears 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than the normal full moon, which occurs every month. "The difference in size is very hard for our eyes to discern, but the moon will probably be noticeably bright".

On winter nights the Earth faces away from the center of the Milky Way and toward its bright spiral arm. Viewers on the East coast will see the start of the eclipse just before dawn, possibly catching the the moon just beginning to take on a reddish hue before it sets.

Viewing in the Central time zone will be somewhat better. "This is because the earth's shadow on the moon is quite large and, as a result, it occurs more frequently".

So what's a blue moon in the first place?

And there you have it: a super blue blood moon.

The full moon this coming Wednesday is considered a blue moon because it will be the second full moon in the same month, which typically only happens once a year.

This happened with our full moon earlier this month on January 1 and will again on January 31. In the 1100 years between 1550 and 2650, there are 408 Seasonal Blue Moons and 456 Monthly Blue Moons. We'll now have a break for a few years, so everyone can calm down.

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On the last day of January, the Moon will arrive full moon phase; where it will be the second full Moon during the month.

A "blood moon" is pictured from Gosford, Australia, north of Sydney, October 8, 2014.

A blood moon occurs during a lunar eclipse, when the moon moves into the Earth's shadow.

"The sun, Earth and moon line up so perfectly that the Earth's shadow blocks the sun", Noble said. "The eclipse begins at 5:51 a.m. ET, as the moon is about to set in the western sky and the sky is getting lighter in the east".

Astronomical calculations say the Blue Moon is something rare, happens once in every two or three years. Noble told Newsweek that "For this eclipse, much of the US will be racing against sunrise".

If you're not looking to shell out dough for a flight across the country, don't give up hope just yet.

A supermoon in eclipse is pictured behind Glastonbury Tor in Glastonbury, U.K., September 27, 2015.

NASA A NASA graphic showcases a timeline for the upcoming eclipse.

If you don't want to get up early to watch the moon glow red, Noble won't judge. With most months longer than 29.5 days, it occasionally works out that we have two full moons.

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