Published: Tue, January 23, 2018
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Rare 'Super Blue Blood Moon' coming on January 31

Rare 'Super Blue Blood Moon' coming on January 31

A "Super Blue Blood Moon" will be visible in the United States in a rare space event on January 31.

Confused? You're probably not the only one. It's set to be visible just after 6pm on Wednesday January 31, with the optimum time for UAE viewing at 6.04pm.

USQ's Jake Clark said while the moon would be visible in the main township, the best place to view the phenomenon would be well out of town. In other words, a supermoon, a blue moon, and a lunar eclipse will be happening simultaneously.

It will also be the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a blue moon.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, earth and moon are so aligned that for a period of time, the full moon passes through the shadow of earth (umbra).

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The super moon is less common. "The moon crosses through our Earth's shadow, causing our moon's illuminated surface to act as a lens, and giving the once bland greyscale surface to glow a soft peachy red". Supermoon refers to a full moon being at the closest point of its orbit to the Earth.

"If you can, get to a darker sky, maybe between Toowoomba and Warwick which is quite dark", Mr Clark said.

The eclipse will last around 3 and a half hours, starting at 3:48 am PT, and ends around 7:12 am PT. Totality (when the moon is completely covered by the Earth's shadow) will last an incredible 77 minutes.

While news outlets have been circulating the news that this will be the first such event in 150 years - this is true only for America, not for those in the rest of the world.

An incredibly rare lunar event called a "super blue blood moon" will be visible across the UAE skies next week. The Jan. 21, 2019 lunar eclipse will be visible throughout all of the US and will be a supermoon, but it won't be a blue moon.

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