Science

'Super Blue Blood Moon': Stargazers Prepare for Rare Celestial Event

Sky gazers and photo enthusiasts are making a beeline for the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences perched at an altitude of 2,450 metres here to witness the lunar delight on January 31- a blue moon, blood moon and a super moon. If you would like to try to catch a view, find a high point with a clear line of site to the west-northwest horizon. Though not inherently noticeable, a supermoon can appear slightly larger in the sky than its ordinary counterpart.

" The moon will be in total eclipse, which people will be able to see in the morning, said Krista Testin of the University of Nebraska at Omaha's physics department".

Neither a super-, blue or blood moon is overly rare, Aufdenberg said.

Lunar eclipses during a supermoon happen rather regularly.

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In each lunar cycle, the Moon's crossing the Earth's orbit for two times. Dr. Ciocca mentions lunar eclipses are special due to them being fairly uncommon. This means that the Earth will come between the sun and moon, effectively blocking the sun's light from reaching the moon.

To see the phenomenon, you need to be on the night side of Earth; this eclipse will be visible mostly in Asia, Australia, the Pacific and North America. The best lunar eclipse viewing for the US will be in Alaska, Hawaii and the west coast.

"Such a circumstance is called a Super Moon". When the moon is all the way in shadow, it doesn't go completely dark; instead, it looks red because of a process called Rayleigh scattering.

The next total lunar eclipse visible in Edmonton will be on January 20, 2019.

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You might set your alarm early the morning of Wednesday, January 31, for a lunar trifecta, a pre-dawn "super blue blood moon".

Where the moon is covered by the Earth's shadow, known as the period of totality, it will last just over one and a quarter hours, according to EarthSky. The moon doesn't change color, so please don't write letters to the editor venting your disappointment.

Nasa said the eclipse will offer scientists a chance to see what happens when the surface of the moon cools quickly. The next total lunar eclipse visible across North America will occur January 21, 2019.

The super moon will rise as the sun sets, but moon gazers will have to wait hours longer to see the full event.

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