Stargazers will be in for a treat tomorrow as the first super blue blood moon in 150 years graces the night skies.
‘Super blue blood moon’ may be a bit of a mouthful, but it does exactly what it says on the tin. It happens when a blue moon, a blood moon and a super moon all occur at the same time – something which makes it very, very rare.
A blue moon and a lunar eclipse will combine with the moon being at its closest point to Earth on 31 January, which results in the uncommon lunar phenomenon. The combined events coming together is so rare, that it has not happened for around 150 years.
“The moon’s orbit around our planet is tilted so it usually falls above or below the shadow of the Earth,” explained NASA.
“About twice each year, a full moon lines up perfectly with the Earth and sun such that Earth’s shadow totally blocks the sun’s light, which would normally reflect off the moon.
“The moon will lose its brightness and take on an eerie, fainter-than-normal glow from the scant sunlight that makes its way through Earth’s atmosphere.
“Often cast in a reddish hue because of the way the atmosphere bends the light, totally eclipsed moons are sometimes called ‘blood moons.’
“Sometimes the celestial rhythms sync up just right to wow us. Heed your calendar reminders. On the three dates marked, step out into the moonset or moonrise and look up for a trilogy of sky watching treats!”
Reckon you want in on a slice of the lunar action? Well, many of you can, but not all, as it depends on where you are in the world. Luckily, though, there are live streams available for those who can’t see the phenomenon – and for those who simply can’t be arsed to go outside, of course.
If you live in North America, Alaska, or Hawaii, the event will be visible before sunrise on 31 January. Meanwhile, for those in the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand, the ‘super blue blood moon’ can be seen during moonrise in the evening.
For the rest of us, who are unable to check out the statistical anomaly from our own shores, NASA will kindly offer a live feed of the event, which will begin at 5.30am EST (10.30am GMT) on 31 January. Nice one, NASA.