Super blue blood moon--January 31

Super blue blood moon--January 31

The full moon on January 31  will be a triple treat  of lunar delights–a supermoon, a blue  moon and a blood moon!

What is a supermoon?  When the moon makes its closest approach to earth in a lunar month, it’s called a perigee moon. The perigee full moon is also called a supermoon.  The moon does appear larger and brighter, and tides are more intense, too.  You can read more about supermoons here.

What is a blue moon? The second full moon in a calendar month is  called a blue moon.  A blue moon doesn’t happen very often, according to EarthSky, about every 2.7 years.  This will be the first of 2 blue moons this year, which is even rarer.  The second one will be on March 31.  Read more about  blue moons here.

What is a blood moon? A total lunar eclipse is also called a blood moon. During a total eclipse, the shadow of the earth across the full moon  gives the moon a reddish color.  This is the first total lunar eclipse since September 28, 2015.  You can read more about the September eclipse  here.

In Chicago, the eclipse will  occur  early in the morning on January 31.  Even with a clear sky (forecast is for scattered clouds), we won’t be able to see the  eclipse from beginning to end.

The total duration of the eclipse is 5 hours, 17 minutes.  The  umbral phase of the eclipse will begin  at  4:51 am. Partial eclipse begins at 5:48 am.  Totality begins at  6:52 am,   but  the moon will set at 7:02 am.

However, you don’t need to miss the whole thing.  SLOOH will have live coverage of the eclipse around the world.  Wherever you are, you  can watch it here.

NASA will also be covering the eclipse. You can find out more and watch it here.



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  • The Blue Moon is only a function of 31 days, except for February, which has no moons.If we were on the 13 month calendar, would never happen.
    On the other hand, shouldn't this be a purple moon?

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks for reading, Jack.

    Yes, the blue moon is a just coincidence of the calendar.

    But the sky was clear this morning, and the moon was beautiful.

  • Great post about my favorite thing in the sky!

  • In reply to Kathy Mathews:

    Thank you, Kathy. The moon is magnificent tonight!

  • This is, of course, the kind of writing I find only once in a blue moon. Thank you!

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Thank you so much for reading!

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