On January 31st, as you look into the sky, you will notice a moon unlike any other. When the next full moon will occur on January 31, 2018, there will be an event that is described as a “Super Moon of Blood”. Add to this another phenomenon named blue super moon: these three celestial events have not coincided for more than 150 years.
Sowhathappensexactly?Firstofall, theJanuary 31st super moonwill have a total lunareclipse, thefirstofwhichwillbefrom western NorthAmerica, thenthePacificandEastAsia.
Theorbitofthemoonaroundourplanetisinclined, soitisusuallyabove or belowtheshadowoftheEarth.However, accordingtoNASAscientists, almosttwice a year, thefullMoon tends tobeperfectlyalignedwiththeEarthandtheSun, causingtheEarth’sshadowtoblocktheSun’slight, whichwouldnormallybereflected on theMoon. .
Thismeansthat on January 31, theMoonwillloseitsusualbrillianceandwillacquire a mysteriousglow, weakerthan normal, mainly due totheweak sunlight that crosses theatmosphereoftheEarth.Thismysteriousappearance, whichisoftenemitted in a reddish hue due tothewaytheatmosphere doubles thelight, explainswhymoonstotallyeclipsed are sometimescalled “moonsofblood”.
But that’s not all. Interestingly, January 31’s super moon will also be the second full moon of January. Some people tend to call a second full moon in one month a blue moon, which makes this phenomenon a blue super moon, (blue moons occur every two and a half years, on average) with the total eclipse of January 2018, so it will be a moon of “super moon of blue blood”.
Soit’sthecombinationoftheseseveraleventsthathadnotbeen in over 150 years.
Image credits in the news: Finnbarr Webster