If you haven’t heard yet, a Super Blue Blood Moon will take over the skies across the country Tuesday night (January 30th) into early Wednesday morning (January 31st). This will create an amazing sight in the sky. This moon will be a supermoon, which means it will appear up to 30% bigger and is the closest to Earth in its orbit. It’s also being named a Blue Moon because it is the second full moon of January, although the moon won’t actually appear blue. That’s when the ‘Blood Moon’ name comes into play, because the moon will actually have a red tint to it due to the way the sun is shining on it as it goes into a lunar eclipse. This is the most fascinating factor with this event because we’ll have a supermoon going through a lunar eclipse. It is quite unusual to have a supermoon and a lunar eclipse at the same time. During a lunar eclipse, the moon passes through Earth’s shadow. This creates the red tint to the color of the moon. Once the moon is totally obscured in it’s shadow, it is considered to be in totality. Now depending on where you live, you’ll either see totality or a partial lunar eclipse. The West Coast and really the western half of the US will experience totality. In this region, the moon will enter totality at 4:51am (local time) and will peak at 5:30am before ending at 6:05am. On the East Coast if you want to see the partial eclipse, you can view it from 5:51am (local time) through 6:48am. Hope you enjoy the show–if you can wake up early.
Now will the forecast cooperate so you can actually view this event? Unfortunately, clouds will be prevalent across portions of the Northwest, Midwest, and Great Lakes. Otherwise the rest of the nation will be in for mostly clear skies.
Check out this cool animation of the full event, courtesy of NASA.
Featured image credit: Aubrey Gemignani/NASA