Rare Super Blue Blood Moon Captivates Astronomers and Skygazers

By Anna Breuer on 31 January 2018
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IMG_1735(2)Millions of people across the globe were treated to a cosmic treat early Wednesday, a super blue blood moon. It was the first time in 35 years that a blue moon, a total lunar eclipse, and a supermoon took place at the same time.

The eclipse began at 4:51 a.m. PST, with the best viewing occurring around 5 and 6 a.m.

Some of the best viewing spots in the early morning hours were along the Pacific Rim in Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, and Asia and in the western United States. In China, which had not seen a super blue blood moon in over 150 years, hundreds lined up at an observatory in Beijing to witness the rare event through a telescope. It was not visible from the U.S. East Coast, Europe, or most of South America.

The moon was closer to Earth in its orbit and 14% brighter than usual. Wednesday’s full moon was also the second in the month of January, making it a blue moon. The super blue moon passed through the Earth’s shadow to create a total lunar eclipse and took on a coppery reddish tint while there as sunlight bounced off its surface, making it a “blood moon.”

The entire event took a little over three hours. NASA called the event a “lunar trifecta,” saying it was the first super blue blood moon since 1982. The next one won’t occur until 2037.

In North America, the eclipse was visible before sunrise. In the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, it was visible during the moonrise Wednesday evening.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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