February 17, 2018

Rare 'super blood blue moon' visible on Jan 31

29 January 2018, 05:49 | Ruben Fields

By Melissa Mas

Here’s A Kindy Level Breakdown Of That ‘Super Blue Blood Moon’ Event

The rare lunar triple play on tap for Wednesday - a super blue blood moon - has sky-gazers buzzing.

This total lunar eclipse is also famously known as Blood Moon, as the moon turns red, which will be fully visible in Kota Kinabalu.

"It's an astronomical trifecta", said Kelly Beatty, a senior editor at Sky and Telescope magazine. These occur once every 2.7 years, because the number of days from new moon to new moon is a bit less than a typical calendar month; 29.53 days instead of 31 or 30 days, according to

This can occur only when the sun, Earth and moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle.

"I's the third in a series of 'supermoons, ' when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit - known as perigee - and about 14 percent brighter than usual, ' said NASA on its website".

What's a lunar eclipse?The moon's orbit is tilted by about 5 degrees relative to the Earth's orbit.

"In other words, it's from all the sunrises and sunsets that ring the world at the moment".

And several times each year, the sun, Earth and moon line up in a straight line.

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What is a super blue blood moon, how can you view it in the United Kingdom and when was the last one seen?

No special equipment or precautions are needed to view the eclipse. Total lunar eclipses by themselves are not that rare, usually happening a few times a year.

"It's just a wonder to behold".

A full moon is when we see its entire lit-up side. For a lunar eclipse, it's the same idea: you still have shadows, but in this case, it's the Earth blocking off the sunlight for the moon. The forthcoming supermoon is the last in a trilogy that began on December 3 with the second visible on New Year's Day. Because of the timing of the full moons, February will not have one and March will have two.

This is when the moon is closest to the centre of the shadow.

Lunar eclipses during a supermoon happen rather regularly. The last one occurred in 1866.

"Unlike the eclipse of the sun, you don't have to rush out at a certain time, and if you sneeze you miss it", Fraknoi said.

The Dubai Astronomy Group will be holding an event for the UAE residents to witness the celestial event on January 31 at the Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre, where people can do naked eye observation, telescopic observation, astro-photography opportunity of the eclipse for public, presentation, talk and question and answer session followed by planetarium show and astro-cinema.

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