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.