On January 31st, when you look up in the sky, you’ll notice a moon unlike any other you’ve probably ever seen.
Three celestial events that have not coincided in more than 150 years will affect the appearance of the next full moon on which will take place on January 31, an event which has been described as a super blue blood moon eclipse. So, call it whatever you wish, a red moon, a blue moon, or a supermoon, the event we are about to witness hasn’t been seen in more than 150 years according to experts.
So what exactly is happening?
First of all, the January 31 supermoon will feature a total lunar eclipse, with a totality visible all the way from western North America up through the Pacific and eastern Asia.
The orbit of the Moon around our planet is tilted, so it usually falls above or below the shadow of the Earth.
According to scientists from NASA, almost twice a year, a full Moon tends to be perfectly aligned with the Earth and the Sun causing the shadow of the Earth to blocks the Sun’s light, which would normally be reflected in the Moon.
This means that in the above-mentioned areas, on January 31, the Moon will lose its brightness and acquire a mysterious glow, weaker than normal, mostly caused due to the scarce sunlight that crosses the Earth’s atmosphere.
This mysterious appearance, which is often emitted in a reddish hue due to the way the atmosphere doubles the light, is why totally eclipsed moons are sometimes referred to as ‘blood moons.’
But that’s not all. Interestingly, the supermoon of January 31 will also be the second full moon of the month.
“The lunar eclipse on January 31 will be visible during moonset. Folks in the Eastern United States, where the eclipse will be partial, will have to get up in the morning to see it. But it’s another great chance to watch the Moon,” notes Noah Petro, a research scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
Some people tend to call the second Full Moon in a month a Blue Moon, which makes this phenomenon a super ‘Blue Moon’.
Blue Moons happen every two and a half years, on average.
With the total eclipse, it will be a ‘super blue blood’ moon.
So get your telescopes ready, grab a pack of beer and sit tight and witness a phenomenon that hasn’t been witnessed in more than 150 years.
“We’re seeing all of the Earth’s sunrises and sunsets at that moment reflected from the surface of the Moon,” Sarah Noble, a program scientist at NASA headquarters, said in a release.
“Anything that keeps people interested in science and makes them realize science is important is a good thing,” she added.
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