How to Watch the "Super Blue Blood Moon" on Jan 31

Rain showers over the Bundaberg region

Rain showers over the Bundaberg region. Mike Knott BUN221117WEATHER3

A blue moon, a blood moon, and a so-called "supermoon", making for what NASA calls a "super blue blood moon". The moon will not actually appear purple, nor will have it a cape - but Wednesday is a great time to gaze up and enjoy the night sky. "This super moon will be about as big as its going to get, and you'll be able to tell it's a little bit brighter as long as the weather is OK".

There are usually a couple of lunar eclipses each year so if you do miss it this time around, the next one will happen on July 27 - though it won't be visible in North America.

Finally, a lunar eclipse is when the earth blocks the sun's rays from reaching the moon, creating a reddish appearance on the moon's surface; this happens about 2-4 times each year. Dr. Ciocca mentions lunar eclipses are special due to them being fairly uncommon. So, the Moon will be below or above the path Earth is following when revolving around the Sun.

And unlike last year's solar eclipse that had everyone in a tizzy, this time you don't need special glasses or a long vehicle trip to take in the sky show.

What do you get when you cross a blue moon with a lunar eclipse?

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During the eclipse, the moon will glide into Earth's shadow, gradually turning the white disk of light to orange or red.

But the lunar eclipse will give the moon a distinct red tinge, earning the event the "super blue blood moon" moniker. He went on to say, "Again, you'll have more success if you can go to a high place with a clear view to the West". Then around 6:15 a.m. the Earth's reddish shadow will be noticeable on the Moon.

But this is more than a super moon. Earlier than that the penumbral eclipse is occurring, which is a fairly dim shadow and so the moon will still look bright. It'll be a long wait for skywatchers in the USA as Johnston predicts the next visible lunar eclipse will be on January 21, 2019.

A lunar eclipse only occurs during a full moon. The first supermoon of the month appeared on 1 January, which was the second member of a trilogy that started with last month's supermoon and will end with the one on 31 January.

The eclipse will be visible for almost four hours, according to NASA, but it will only be visible in totality for an hour and 43 minutes.

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