Lunar Eclipse Combines With Super Blue Moon

Jan 30, 2018

A total lunar eclipse will be visible tomorrow (Jan. 31) before dawn. It’s taking place during an unusual time in the lunar cycle, giving it the name of a “super blue blood moon”. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

A total lunar eclipse
Credit NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

This eclipse is remarkable because it takes place during a “supermoon,” when the moon is closer to Earth in its orbit, so it appears extra big and bright. It’s also a blue moon, the name for the second full moon in a single month. A blue moon occurs every two or three years.

Tomorrow at around four a.m. Earth’s shadow will begin to cross over the surface of the Moon. Totality occurs between six and seven a.m.

That’s when the moon turns a dark red color, giving it the informal name “blood moon.” Look for it close to the horizon in the western sky. It’ll still be partly eclipsed when it sets at dawn.

The combination of a total eclipse with a “super blue moon” last occurred in North America in 1866.