A trifecta of lunar events will happen all at once early in the morning Jan. 31, replicating a rare coincidence that has not happened for 152 years, Newsweek reports.
The event, called the “super blue blood moon eclipse,” involves a supermoon, blue moon and lunar eclipse occurring all at once. In the U.S., Western states will have the best view.
“Weather permitting, the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii will have a spectacular view of totality from start to finish,” NASA Program Director and lunar blogger Gordon Johnston said in a statement. “Unfortunately, eclipse viewing will be more challenging in the Eastern time zone. 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.”
The supermoon phase of the moon refers to the moment its orbit takes it closest to Earth. The moon’s orbit is not a perfect circle, and its size relative to how it’s seen from Earth varies about 14 percent from its closest point to its farthest point.
A blue moon is the second full moon within one calendar month. Full moons happen every 29.5 days, which leaves a slim window for two full moons to appear in every month except February.
A lunar eclipse is simply when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon. Instead of the moon disappearing in Earth’s shadow, however, the moon takes on a reddish tint as light from the sun filters through Earth’s atmosphere, also referred to as a blood moon.
The last time these three events happened simultaneously was 1866.
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