How to watch the 'blue moon' lunar eclipse

Jan 27, 2018, 16:43
How to watch the 'blue moon' lunar eclipse

"It's just a full moon turning darker so it's very safe to look at", says "backyard astronomer" Gary Boyle.

The super blue blood moon will be viewable from western North America and across the Pacific to eastern Asia. Anyway, supermoons (meaning a full moon that happens during when the moon is in the slightly-closer-to-Earth part of its orbit) are pretty common. The moon moves from the nearest (perigee) to the farthest point (apogee) from one of the focci where the earth is placed. On average, that corresponds to once every 265 years! The next supermoon will be January 20, 2019.

The full moon this coming Wednesday is considered a blue moon because it will be the second full moon in the same month, which typically only happens once a year.

As is well known, the start and the end of the Hijric months depend on Moon's motion whether it completes one cycle approximately in every 29.5 days or not, and based on that the length of each Hijric month is decided.

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So on January 31, the world will be treated to a perigee blue moon total lunar eclipse.

But the blue moon is extra-special, right?

"Lunar eclipses are a great opportunity to see the moon in full detail and to understand why some ancient civilizations knew thousands of years ago that the Earth was round", said De Leo-Winkler, who is organizing the lunar observation together with UCR's Astronomy Club. With the sun's light no longer directly reflecting from the moon's surface, scattered sunlight from the Earth falls on the moon, transforming it from white to blood-red in appearance. When the Earth is in the way of the Sun's rays, they pass through our atmosphere, scattering the spectrum green-to-violet in a bigger way than what's left: the red. Here's an interactive map of where you will be able to see the eclipse.

What is a lunar eclipse?

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Total eclipse begins at 4:52 a.m. It's a blue moon, too. Though not uncommon separately, this is the first time all three will happen at the same time since 1866, according to NASA. For it to occur, the planets had to align.

On January 31, Qatar residents will have a good chance to see the first Blue Moon in the year, the Qatar Calendar House said. For the eastern USA, the last visible one was May 31, 1844. The visibility of all three at once will vary, but you'll be able to see at least one or two of the events with the knowledge that all three are occurring for the first time in 150 years.

The famous astrophysicist Neal deGrasse Tyson commented on his Facebook page at the time of the December 2017 supermoon, making a joke about the use of the term "super" in reference to the moon.

Viewers in Whatcom County will have to wake up before sunrise to see the eclipse. The Virtual Telescope project provides a livestream of the supermoon's eclipse over Rome's skyline, beginning at 6:30am ET (11:30am UTC). At about 6:15 a.m., the Earth's reddish shadow will be clearly noticeable on the moon.

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