About   Astrophotos  Contact  News  Star Guide  Telescopes  Video Tour 

Lunar Eclipse January 31, 2018 ⬅︎
We will be experiencing an extraordinary triple event on the morning of January 31st: a blue moon, a supermoon, and a lunar eclipse all in one. Maybe it should be called a super blue blood moon?

Let's start with the blue moon. The popular definition of this is a 2nd full moon of a month. Since the lunar cycle lasts 29.5 days, it is possible to have two fulls moons if the month is long enough. This month, there are full moons on both January 2nd and January 31st.

Let's move on to supermoon. The moon orbits the earth in a path that is elliptical, not circular. When it is at the closest point in its orbit, or perigee, it can be as close as 221,500. And when it is at the furthest point, or apogee, it can be as far as 252,700 miles. Any time the moon is no further than 224,641 miles at a full moon, it is called a supermoon and will appear somewhat larger. This will happen on both full moons this month.

Finally, the blood moon. About every six months the moon is lined up with the earth and sun in its path around the earth. This is known as an eclipse season and both solar and lunar eclipses can occur. Often the eclipses are just partial or can't be seen from our location, but this eclipse season, we will be able to view a total lunar eclipse. The moon will appear to turn deep red as it travels through earth's shadow.

The eclipse will start at around 3am on the morning of Jan 31st as the moon enter's the earth's penumbra. It won't enter the umbra and begin to turn deep read until shortly before 4am. Totality begins shortly before 5am and lasts until about 6am. Then the moon will slowly emerge from earth’s shadow bringing the eclipse to an end.

An event not to miss!
Level: EasyRating: