This Week In Astronomy

Total Lunar Eclipse – Super Blue Blood Moon Set To Wow West Coast
January ends with a total lunar eclipse before sunrise on January 31st. For those on the west coast of the U.S., the Full/Blue Moon will become darkened by the Earth’s shadow, which is also known as the umbra. Stargazers in the right spot can expect a special celestial treat as the Earth passes directly between the Sun and the Moon, which will gradually get darker and turn a rusty red color.

This particular event is special because this trio of a lunar eclipse, super moon, and blue moon has not happened in over 150 years! A super moon is about 30% brighter and is much larger than a full moon because the moon’s orbit is elliptical and during a super moon, is at the part of its orbit that brings it closest to Earth. It is called a blue moon because it is the second full moon of the month.

Sadly, for those of us in central or eastern states, or for our friends reading this in most other countries, this isn’t going to be very impressive. The sky will be getting bright, or the moon will be set already before totality hits. Don’t worry, we’ll let you know next time!

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