Truly rare Super Blue Blood Moon Wednesday

Truly rare Super Blue Blood Moon Wednesday

The pre-dawn hours of January 31 will play host to an incredibly rare celestial convergence - a "super blue blood moon".

If you've got a good imagination, the best view would be from the moon, he says. The moon will not actually appear purple, nor will have it a cape - but Wednesday is a great time to gaze up and enjoy the night sky. Unlike solar eclipses, a lunar eclipse is not risky to watch and the eclipse may last for hours and be seen in many parts of the world. "Instead of this little, tiny shadow of the moon on the Earth, you have this big shadow of the Earth covering up the tiny moon".

Supermoons have been aptly named for being measurably larger than the regular full moon as seen from Earth.

A supermoon is a full moon that is closest in its orbit to the Earth.

There will be no need for a telescope, binoculars, or special glasses according to Clara Wente, professor in the Physics department at Front Range Community College.

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It becomes reddish because the Sun, Earth and Moon will be aligned perfectly in a manner that the Earth will bend sunlight passing through its atmosphere to give the moon its colour. This partial eclipse starts at 5:48 a.m. CST and will continue until the moon sets at 6:50 a.m. CST.

"At first, the moon will look dark gray in color during the overnight hours", said WLOX First Alert Meteorologist Wesley Williams.

Those living in California and the rest of the west coast will have some of the best views of the eclipse if they wake up early. For the eastern USA and Canada, a clear view will be limited as the Moon sets and the Sun rises during the early stages of the eclipse. As the moon is returning from beneath the earth's shadow, the moon will have already gone below the horizon. But don't worry if you miss it: Lunar eclipses happen, on average, a couple of times a year. So, "set your alarm early and go out and take a look", Johnston said. While the Moon is in the Earth's shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a "blood moon". The next blue moon total lunar eclipse will happen in a little more than a decade, on December 31, 2028.

The eclipse will be visible for almost four hours, according to NASA, but it will only be visible in totality for an hour and 43 minutes.

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