A guide for tomorrow morning's lunar trifecta, the super blue blood moon
Jan 31 2018
We have all heard of a "bluemoon", the phrase originating in the 60s and recently terms like "super moon" and "blood moon" have become increasingly buzz-worthy as well.
The moon turns "blue" on the second occurrence of a full moon in a calendar month. It will appear 14% brighter than normal. The best views of the middle-of-the-night eclipse will be in central and eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia although skywatchers in the West will enjoy really good visibility of a big, copper-colored moon close to the horizon.
"And it'll be at least partially visible in all 50 US states â€" though the views will get better and better the farther west you live.
Super moons can happen four to six times a year. This happens when the moon is closest to the earth in its orbit.
"The red colour during a lunar eclipse is very distinctive and it's a rare treat to be able to see a blood red moon", said Brian Rachford, associate professor of physics at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The typical blue light gets scattered away, leaving the red light which gets focused on the moon, turning it red.
The thing that makes this particular blue moon special is the celestial trifecta accompanying it early Wednesday morning. And a lunar eclipse is when the moon is darkened by the Earth's shadow.
A composite image showing the total lunar eclipse that happened during a supermoon on September 27, 2015, as seen from Denver. The moon can take on a reddish hue during an eclipse, which is where the "blood moon" name comes from.
Host of London Morning, Julianne Hazlewood, spoke with Andrew Fazekas, a science journalist who's also known as the Night Sky Guy, about what to expect.
The partial lunar eclipse starts in Richmond at 5:51am tomorrow, reaching its max around 7:10am, and ending around 7:13am at moon set.
If you live in Mountain Standard Time, everything will kick off at 4:48 a.m., and the moon will start turning red around 6:30 - but the sun will rise by 7 a.m.
The last time this occurred was more than 150 years ago. Unlike the big solar eclipse past year, this event relies on the passage of the earth's shadow and the position of the sun.