Interesting Facts About Super Blue Blood Moon: A Rare And Beautiful Lunar Display

Super Blue Blood Moon

Super Blue Blood Moon

By now, you likely have heard of the lunar phenomenon “super blue blood moon” that took place on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Excitement grew, even at NASA, where they planned to live stream the moon as it dazzles skywatchers about a week ago.
A rare celestial event graced the skies during last week when a blue moon and lunar eclipse combine with the moon being at its closest point to Earth, resulting in a phenomenon called a “super blue blood moon”.
The trifecta took place on 31 January and was best visible from the western hemisphere. The last time the three elements combined at the same time was in 1866.
A supermoon is named after a full moon when it’s at the closest distance to the Earth in its orbit. When timing is just right, a full moon coincides with the moon’s perigee (closest distance to Earth). This event usually occurs three to four times per year and most recently occurred on January 2, 2018. The end result of the moon being closer to the Earth, it is 14% brighter than normal.
A moon is termed a blue moon when it is the second full moon in a single calendar month. Since the last full moon was on January 31, 2018, this will be the second full moon of the month. The name blue moon, which you may have heard before from the beer named blue moon is due somewhat of a misnomer.
The moon can appear blue at points. However, this does not have anything to do with being the second moon in the month. The bluish tinge is due to dust and smoke in the atmosphere scattering the red light particles and making the moon appear blue.
On top of this, a blood Moon is a particularly rare event in which the Moon turns red during an eclipse. This happens when the light from the Sun reflects directly on to the eclipsing Moon. The third event was a blue moon, which is the second full Moon of the month.
While you have seen the headlines, you may still be wondering why this moon is so special and what happens when a super moon, blue moon and blood moon all take place in only one night. To get you up to speed, here are some interesting facts about Super Blue Blood Moon. Enjoy!
1. The entire night side of the globe saw the eclipse and everyone experienced the event at precisely the same moment. What affects the eclipse timings are local time zones. According to NASA, stargazers living in the United States were able to see the eclipse before sunrise on Wednesday. For those in the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand, the event was visible during moonrise on the morning of 31 January.
2. According to Philip Hiscock, a folklorist at the Memorial University, US (now retired), the classic saying “once in a blue moon” is more than 400 years old. It originated as something so absurd it could never actually happen, similar to saying “when pigs fly”. However, it’s possible on rare occasions for the Moon to turn blue.
3. A blue moon is rarer than a supermoon, occurring once every two or three years. Of these blue moons, about half of them are due to the second moon of the month and the other half are from seasonal blue moons. A seasonal blue moon is the third full moon of four full moons within an astronomical season.
4. If you missed this Super Blue Blood Moon, make a note in your diary for 2037. This is the next time the three events are likely to coincide. 19 years isn’t so long…

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