Once in a blue moon

Super Blue Blood Moon 2018 map
GETTY•NASABlue Moon 2018 The US will be primal spot to view the total lunar eclipse

27 January, 2018

A super blue blood moon will be making an appearance in less than a week, marking the first time we've seen such an event in our lifetime. But twice in each lunar cycle, the moon does cross into our planet's orbital plane. The full moon on that date happens to be the second full moon of the month, or a blue moon. Generally, however, people only call it a supermoon if the moon is full.

Once in a blue moon is only once every few years, but once in a super, blue, blood moon is just once every few decades.

While it's also safe to assume the lunar eclipse will not draw the huge crowds of this summer's solar eclipse, B.C. residents are in a prime position to witness it, Boyle says. When this happens, the only light that reaches the moon will be filtered through Earth's atmosphere, stripping out the blue wavelengths and casting the moon red.

Unfortunately there won't be viewing opportunities in the United Kingdom as the eclipse - taking place at about 1pm GMT will only be visible before sunrise or after sunset. But instead of the moon slipping between the Earth and sun, the much more common lunar eclipse takes place when the moon passes through Earth's shadow, turning the moon a dusky red.

This is the second supermoon to light up the sky this January.

We've come to expect a full moon every month.

"The sun, Earth and moon line up so perfectly that the Earth's shadow blocks the sun..." The reddish tint from the eclipse is not expected until nearly an hour after the eclipse begins, around 6:48 a.m., but the moon will set less than a half an hour after that.

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But a blue moon isn't blue at all, and Wednesday's moon will be no exception.

Stargazers are privy to a celestial triple threat at the end of this month. Our first full moon in January occurred on Jan. 1st.

So we have a blue supermoon coming up.

Newsweek spoke with NASA planetary geologist Sarah Noble about everything we need to know about January 31's astronomical treat. So that closeness makes the moon seem about 14 percent bigger and, if it's a clear night, brighter as well.

Finally, to add the cherry on top, this will also be a supermoon. Though the moon whirls around Earth at an average distance of almost 239,000 miles, it doesn't orbit in a ideal circle. The moon's closest approach is called the "perigee", and when that coincides with a full moon it appears larger and brighter than average.

The original meaning was the third full moon in a season that had four full moons (as opposed to the three full moons you'd normally expect during a season). The distinction is usually hard to notice unless you're looking at two pictures side by side. Despite the name it doesn't have anything to do with the color of the moon. The Moon will appear over Qatar sky at 5:17 PM and will stay till next morning at 6:50 AM Doha local time. Sandeep Kataria, JAP-SRF, Indian Institute of Astro Physics, Bengaluru, said, "You must have heard the phrase "once in blue moon" which means something that happens rarely".

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