Published: Fri, January 05, 2018
Sci-tech | By Eric Barnett

Total lunar eclipse on January 31

Total lunar eclipse on January 31

And a blood moon is phrase used to describe the moon during a total lunar eclipse - when the Earth passes between the moon and the sun.

In an astronomical event not seen for over 150 years, we'll see a blue moon, supermoon, and lunar eclipse at the same time on January 31.

The first eclipse of 2018 will be a lunar one that comes at the very end of the month, on January 31.

On January 31, it will happen in the middle of the night, when the Pacific Ocean faces the moon.

The estimated time for the event is during the middle of the night with visibility available in areas such as Central and Eastern Asia, New Zealand, Indonesia along with certain parts of Australia. Alaska, Hawaii and northwestern Canada will see the eclipse from start to finish. Moonset will intervene for the rest of North and Central America. So, during totality, the moon's lower limb will appear much brighter than the dark upper limb. Both of these eclipses will be total.

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New Year's Day brought us a spectacular wolf full moon, named for the howls of hungry wolves in winter. That doesn't actually mean it will look any different - but rather that it's the second time there's been a full moon in a month.

A supermoon is a moon that is full when it is also at or near its closest point in its orbit around Earth, according to NASA. To answer that question, we consulted the reference book Canon of Lunar Eclipses, 1500 B.C. - A.D. This usually happens about every 2.7 years, though because February has only 28 days, a number of regions will get another blue moon in March 2018.

Since the moon's orbit is elliptical, one side (apogee) is about 30,000 miles farther from Earth than the other (perigee). Thirdly, a total lunar eclipse will take place making the event a super rare one which occurs once in 150 years.

The way the light filters through the atmosphere during an eclipse causes the blue light to bounce away from the moon, reflecting red light. These rare events also provide the scientists a chance to study the celestial elements closely.

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