We’ve all heard the term every once in a blue moon, referring to a once in a lifetime opportunity or event. But what are the odds of every once in a Super blue blood moon? Even rarer…
According to NASA, this January we will have a sky full of a super blue blood moon. If you don’t know what a blue moon is, it is a term that refers to a month that has two full moons. They occur about every two and a half years to three years. A blood moon is when there is a partial or total lunar eclipse, and a supermoon is when the moon is orbiting closer to Earth’s atmosphere than usual. All of these events are particularly rare, but I’m not sure if humanity has ever seen them all occur in one night!
“The moon’s orbit around our planet is tilted so it usually falls above or below the shadow of the Earth,” explained NASA. “About twice each year, a full moon lines up perfectly with the Earth and sun such that Earth’s shadow totally blocks the sun’s light, which would normally reflect off the moon. “The moon will lose its brightness and take on an eerie, fainter-than-normal glow from the scant sunlight that makes its way through Earth’s atmosphere. “Often cast in a reddish hue because of the way the atmosphere bends the light, totally eclipsed Moons are sometimes called ‘blood moons.’”
On January 31st during the middle of the night the Earth will line up between the sun and the moon, blocking the light that hits the lunar surface. This will cast an Earth shadow over the moon and cause it to appear blood orange during totality. Our lunar neighbor will also be closer than usual causing it to appear super large!
Featured image via Patreon