Buzz It Up News

Rare super blue blood moon appearing Wednesday

At 2 p.m. Sunday at the Los Alamos Nature Center, Rick Wallace is presenting a special planetarium show about an upcoming, rare astronomical event: a Blue Supermoon Lunar Eclipse.

A rather rare celestial event is coming at the end of this month.

The next super blue blood moon won't happen again until January 31, 2048.

The January 31 full moon is going to be about 14 per cent brighter than usual and will pass through the shadow of the earth.

It appears we have entered an era of moon near-hysteria, with each month bringing about a rush of excited stories detailing the unique charms of whatever full moon is in the works at the time.

So then what is a Blue Moon?

So there you have it; now when you see something like a super blue blood moon in the news, you can know that it's simply the second full moon of the month that happens to be occuring during perigee at the time of a lunar eclipse!

"The whole character of the moon changes when we observe with a thermal camera during an eclipse", said Paul Hayne of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

When a lunar eclipse happens, the moon appears to darken as it moves into the Earth's shadow called the umbra. For 77 minutes, the usually silvery moon will be covered with a blood-red/ochre shadow. They typically happen about once a month- every 29.5 days to be specific.

The year 2018 will host two blue moons, the next being in March after a moonless February.

"It'll be blood red when it's in total eclipse, otherwise any Blue Moon on any regular day is just a moon", said Klassen. In the Western Hemisphere, this will be the first time all three have coincided since 1866, more than a century and a half ago. "So, if you have a really good horizon, you might be able to see a bit of the moon turn red before it sets". "The eclipse begins at 5:51 AM ET, as the Moon is about to set in the western sky, and the sky is getting lighter in the east".

All events were canceled in January when the planetarium's projector - aka the "Big Blue Guy" - went down.

Related Articles