Published: Mon, January 29, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Super blue moon to appear blood red early Wednesday

Due to Rayleigh Scattering, the moon does not disappear into blackness during a total eclipse but instead takes on a reddish hue sometimes called a blood moon.

According to NASA, this very rare combination is the first in 35 years and the next one won't happen until 2037. Not only is the atmosphere smog free but after the recent snowfall the skies have become clearer offering an uninterrupted view. But the super blue moon will still be passing by, so it'll be worth stepping outside for a look all the same. This is the second full moon of the month, which means it is also a blue moon.

Like Earth, half the moon is illuminated by the sun at any one time. While viewers along the East Coast will see only the initial stages of the eclipse before moonset, those on British Columbia's west coast will see most or all of the lunar eclipse phases before dawn. While in earth's shadow, the moon will take a red hew, also known as a "blood moon". It'll be the first time in 35 years that a lunar eclipse will coincide with a "super moon" and a "blue moon".

"If you happen to be on the wrong side of the Earth, you'll miss it", Aufdenberg said, adding that Florida tends to be a poor area for viewing lunar eclipses.

The observatory is open seven nights a week, and Mr Bennedick said there would be plenty of telescopes available for visitors to see the super moon and eclipse up close.

A blood moon refers to a lunar eclipse. The event, as described by Nasa, is a combination of three separate events which will occur at the same time - the moon's closest approach to the Earth, a full moon and a full lunar eclipse.

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. And it's not like a solar eclipse where you need special filters. Then around 6:15 a.m. the Earth's reddish shadow will be noticeable on the Moon. While the overlap is known as a "supermoon", the technical term is "perigee full moon".

The partial eclipse begins at 5:48 a.m. when the moon enters Earth's main shadow, the umbra. We typically get about 4-6 supermoons per year, though last year we only had one.

For the first time in nearly four decades, the Philippines will get a glimpse of a blue moon, a super moon and a blood moon occurring in unison - a rare astronomical event tomorrow evening.

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