“Super blue moon” on January 31 – Know what it is

“Super blue moon” on January 31 – Know what it is

Washington: For those who missed the full moon treat on January 1, a rare celestial treat awaits you on January 31, marking the last in a trilogy of supermoons. The first happened on December 3, 2017, NASA said in a report.

The January 31 full moon is special for three reasons: it’s the third in a series of “supermoons”, and about 14 percent brighter than usual. It’s also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a “blue moon”, which happens every two and a half years, on average.

It may be mentioned that such unique scene phenomenon occurred 150 years back.

The super blue moon will pass through earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse.

While the moon is in the earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon”, Gordon Johnston, programme executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters in Washington, NASA said in a statement.

It will feature a total lunar eclipse, with totality viewable from western North America across the Pacific to Eastern Asia.

For those living in North America, Alaska, or Hawaii, the eclipse will be visible before sunrise on January 31.

However, for those in the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand, the “super blue blood moon” can be seen during moonrise in the morning on the 31st.

In India, the largest gathering of viewers could be seen at Nainital, Uttarakhand since the sky will be clear in the city.

If you miss the January 31 lunar eclipse, you’ll have to wait almost another year for the next opportunity in North America. So, “set your alarm early and go out and take a look”, Johnston said.

“I have always been fascinated by the night sky. Most of what we can see without a telescope are points of light, but the moon is close enough that we can see it and the features on it, and notice what changes and what stays the same each night,” he stated.

December’s full moon, traditionally known as the “cold moon”, marked the first and only supermoon of 2017.

It appeared about seven percent larger and 15 percent brighter.

What is Supermoon?

A supermoon is a full moon at its closest point to the Earth on its orbit — known as perigee.

What is a total lunar eclipse?

It occurs when Earth blocks sunlight making Moon completely dark. Such phenomenon happens when the Earth comes in between Sun and the Moon.

With inputs from IANS