What is a super blue blood moon and why is it so rare?
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By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
1/24/2018 (1 year ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
What is a super blue blood moon?
A super blue blood moon will be visible for most of North America very early on January 31.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - A blood moon is a lunar eclipse. A supermoon is when the moon is closest to Earth and it's Earth-facing side is fully illuminated, or "full." A blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. Blue moons are a human phenomenon related to how we keep time, and have nothing to do with the moon's color or appearance.
The two celestial events that matter are the lunar eclipse and the supermoon. A lunar eclipse takes place when the Moon passes through the shadow cast by Earth into space. As the moon passes through this shadow, it appears to turn red. This is because red light has a long wavelength, so red light waves pass through the Earth's atmosphere while blue light, which has a shorter wavelength, is absorbed. After passing through the atmosphere, this red light hits the surface of the moon and is reflected back toward Earth and into your eyes.
On January 31, observers in Hawai'i and around the Pacific rim will have a good view of the super blue blood moon. People in most of Africa and western Europe will miss out as the event happens when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth.
Observers on the west coast of the United States will need to get up early to view the eclipse, which will be total around 4:51 AM.
Super blue blood moons are uncommon, with the last one seen in 1866. However, another will take place on January 21, 2019. It will not be a blue moon, however, but this makes no difference to what anyone sees since blue moons have to do with our calendar and not the moon.
These events tend to be rare because all three phenomena must happen at the same time. There are usually only a dozen full moons per year, and two lunar eclipses per year and blue moons usually happen about two to three years apart, on average. However, exceptional confluences do occur, as we will see in the early morning of January 31.
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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