January 31, 2018
Full Supermoon Total Eclipse
A Lunar Trifecta ~ Earth-Keeper.com
A cosmic event not seen in 36 years — a rare “super blood blue moon” — may be glimpsed January 31 in North America, Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Australia. The event is causing astronomers to be excited, because it combines three unusual lunar events — an extra big perigee Super Moon, a Blue-Moon and a Total Lunar Eclipse.
“It’s an astronomical trifecta,” said Kelly Beatty, a senior editor at Sky and Telescope magazine. A blue moon refers to the second full moon in a month. Typically, a blue moon happens every two years and eight months. This full moon is also the third in a rare sequence of three ‘Supermoons’, which happen when the moon is closest to Earth in its orbit. This point, called the perigee, makes the moon appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter….and it has a much greater gravitational influence on tides and people!
The rare alignment of the sun, moon and Earth will last one hour and 16 minutes, visible before dawn across the western United States and Canada. How rare?
“We’ve had a lot of supermoons and we’ve had lunar eclipses, but it’s rare that it also happens to be a blue moon,” said Jason Aufdenberg, associate professor of physics and astronomy at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s campus in Daytona Beach, Florida. “All three of these cycles lining up is what makes this unusual,” he added.
Astronomer Dr Aufdenberg said that by his calculations, the last time a supermoon, blue moon and total lunar eclipse all together were visible from the United States was on May 31, 1844.