A Very Rare Super Blue Blood Moon Will Be Visible This Week… Here’s How to See it

By Alexandra Snyder, Defense Media Activity

A rare moon that hasn’t been viewed by almost anyone in over 150 years is set to provide a gorgeous sight Wednesday.

A ‘super blood blue moon’ will be visible Jan. 31, with western North America, Asia, and the Middle East getting the best view.

A ‘super blue blood moon’ is the result of a blue moon – the second full moon in a calendar month – occurring at the same time as a super moon, when the moon is about 14 percent brighter than usual. It also combines with a blood moon – the moment during a lunar eclipse when the moon, which is in the Earth’s shadow, takes on a reddish hue.

For those in the U.S., this eclipse will be the first blue moon total eclipse since 1866.

The alignment of the sun, moon and Earth will last one hour and 16 minutes and will be visible before dawn across North America, Alaska, Hawaii and Canada. NASA says the best viewing for those in the United States will be from the west.

“Set your alarm early and go out and take a look,” said Gordon Johnston, a NASA program executive and lunar blogger. “Weather permitting, the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii will have a spectacular view of totality from start to finish.”

For people viewing the event from the eastern part of the country, the moon will enter the outer part of Earth’s shadow at 5:51 a.m.  but is unlikely to be noticeable.  The darker part of Earth’s shadow will begin to cover part of the moon with a reddish glow at 6:48 a.m.

“Your best opportunity if you live in the East is to head outside about 6:45 a.m. and get to a high place to watch the start of the eclipse—make sure you have a clear line of sight to the horizon in the west-northwest, opposite from where the sun will rise,” added Johnston.

For those in the Middle East and Asia, the special moon can be seen as it rises Wednesday evening.

Lunar eclipse schedule for Jan. 31, 2018. Courtesy of NASA

 

If you don’t live in an area that will see totality, don’t worry!  NASA TV and NASA.gov/live will live stream the event starting at 5:30 a.m. EST. You can also follow along with the webcast on @NASAMoon, their lunar Twitter account.

Too excited to wait for Wednesday? We got you. Check out this cool video of what you can expect to see to keep yourself content until the main event:

NASA video