Here comes the Super, Blue, Blood, Moon

On January 31st we will be treated to a super moon, that will be a blue moon and also a blood moon.  A stellar trifecta for any stargazer. This has not happened since 1866.  The west coast will see the full lunar eclipse (Blood Moon) the east coast will see a partial eclipse in the early morning, because by the time the eclipse is full the moon will have set already.  It will still be worth checking out.  The moon will appear brighter and larger in the sky since it is a super moon or in perigee.  Which means the moon’s orbit is closest to the earth.

Blood moon from the April 15, 2014 lunar eclipse, supermoon, moon in perigee
Blood moon from the April 15, 2014 lunar eclipse

 

A blue moon occurs when a full moon happens more than once in the same month.  Hence the saying once in a blue moon.  Originally a blue moon was considered to be when a full moon occurred four times in a season. A season usually has three full moons.  This January’s  blue moon and super moon will also be a total lunar eclipse, known as the blood moon. When in total eclipse the moon appears red.  North America will be able to see this total lunar eclipse.  The west coast will see the full eclipse the east coast will see a partial due to the time the moon sets. The Earth’s shadow will completely cover the moon, on Jan. 31, 2018.  The January blue moon is known as the snow moon, which is normally the February full moon.  There will not be a full moon in February this year.  February will be a “Black Moon”  this is a term not used often, but it describes a month without a full moon. This can only occur in February due to the amount of days in the month.  Full moons cycle every 29.53 days.  The black moon is a rare occurrence.  It has also been used to describe a month with two new moons.

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So get out and check out the moon, bundle up because the cold is brutal out there.  It will be nice to see this one, usually I have to drive for dark skies.  My backyard in the country is perfect for stargazing.

Fish On!

Rich King

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