Who doesn’t want to see a Super Blue Blood Moon, right? Behold, now you have the perfect opportunity to see one this Wednesday. Before we get to that, you might be unfamiliar with the term Super Blue Blood Moon itself. So let’s get to that first.
Why a Super Moon
Compared to a normal moon size, the moon on 30th January would seem a bit larger than normal. This will be courtesy it being closest as possible to Earth. Known as the Perigee, this would lead to the moon appearing fourteen percent brighter than usual. The full moon is to be expected this Wednesday, while Perigee would be happening a day earlier, on Tuesday. On this day, the distance between Earth and its moon would be the shortest; 223068 miles.
Though, a SuperMoon isn’t exactly something very extraordinary. In fact, you can expect a SuperMoon once in fourteen months at least on average. But what makes this occasion a bit different is that there were three Supermoons happening over about two months. One did on December 3rd ,2017, and the most recent one at the start of this year, January 1st.
BlueMoon, what’s that eh?
If you think the moon would appear blue, then sorry to disappoint you but the term BlueMoon means something else. It is called so, if there are two full moons to happen within the same month. To break it to you, “Once in a blue moon” ideology is based on this very fact that the average expected the occurrence of a blue moon is once in around 2.7 years.
Okay if it’s not getting Blue, then what’s with the super blue ‘Blood’ moon?
Yes, the moon would be appearing rather bloody (figuratively of course). The bloody hue or more distinctively, “Red-Copper” is because the moon would have to go through the Earth’s shadow. Therefore, do expect a total lunar eclipse in some regions.
All these events occurring at the same time is a very rare occurrence. It’s so rare that the last time it happened was 150 years ago in March 1866. According to U.S Naval Observatory astronomer Geoff Chester, “The further west you go, you’ll get a better view.”
To get you excited we have a description from Alexander Brown of the same event that occurred in 1866. He wrote the description according to his experience, from Arbroath, Scotland, north of St. Andrews, on the North Sea.
“For hours previous to the entrance of the moon into the earth’s dark shadow, not a cloud covered the face of the sky; and Luna was beheld pouring her mild radiance on field and town, path and moor,” described Brown.
“When the entire disc, at forty-four minutes past three, had passed into the shadow, the eclipsed moon became distinctly visible, showing a gradation of tints from blue to green on the outside, to a gradually increasing red, which further on changed to a color resembling that of incandescent iron when at a dull-red heat,” he further added.
If you are already pumped up about this and want to observe it in a public viewing event, then you can do so at the Griffith Observatory in LA. The timings would be from 3:45 till 7 am, i.e. Pacific Time. If you can’t be there then you can also stream it online courtesy the same observatory at around 2:45 a.m.