Prepare yourself sky gazers, for the first time in 150 years–actually 152 years to be precise–a Lunar Eclipse will coincide with a blue moon. This event will make the moon look much larger, much brighter and of a different color.
Now don’t get confused by the term Blue Moon, as it has nothing to do with the color of the moon.
The full moon will seem red or a burnt-orange hue, hence its “blood moon” moniker.
According to NASA, this occurs because the indirect sunlight that reaches the moon, during a total lunar eclipse, first makes its way through our planet’s atmosphere, where most of the scattered blue-colored light is filtered out.
The moon could also appear blood red, dark brown or gray say, researchers.
It’s a magical event and Dr. Noah Petro, a planetary geologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center calls it a “collision of multiple lunar events.”
“A lot of things are happening at once,” Petro said. “It’s a cool event.”
The only thing left to do is hope for good weather.
Events like this is why I love astronomy. At the end of January, to be exact on January the 31st, we will witness a total lunar eclipse.
A lunar eclipse occurs when our planet is aligned between the Sun and our moon. As this alignment occurs, our planet’s shadow blocks the sunlight from reflecting off the moon. So, when looking at the moon we actually see our planets shadow on the moon.
When a TOTAL lunar eclipse occurs, where a full moon passes through earth shadow, our sun’s light is actually filtered through our planet’s atmosphere, which makes the moon look reddish from our viewpoint on Earth.
Space.com tells us that the last time a total lunar eclipse coincided with a blue moon was on March 31, 1866.
IF for some reasons you end up missing this incredible astronomical event, fear not, as on December 31st, 2028, you’ll get a chance to witness the same thing.
The event on January 31st is part of a series of three lunar events that started on December 3rd, 2017. The second event took place on January 2nd 2018, and the third, grand finale will happen on January 31st.
Even though the total lunar eclipse will be visible all over the world, you have to be located on the nighttime on Earth while the eclipse takes place in order to witness this rare astronomical phenomenon.