A Super Blue Blood Moon shall appear in the early morning skies tomorrow for all of our viewing area at around 5:51AM on Wednesday Morning (January 31st, 2018).
This large phrase of an event is a combination of a supermoon, a blue moon and a blood moon (also known as a lunar eclipse).
A supermoon is where the lunar sphere gets as close as 90% to it’s closest approach to the Earth’s orbit and happens about 4 to 6 times a year.
A blue moon is an additional full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year. The last full moon this year was less than a month ago, on January 2nd and it is called blue to replace the word ‘belewe’, which meant ‘betrayer’ moon, giving us four moons in one season rather than three.
A blood moon is where a rusty, red color takes over our moon as it slides into Earth’s shadow. It’s caused by light bending around the Earth because of gravity passing around a portion of the atmosphere, more commonly known as a lunar eclipse.
Not since 1866 has our skies gone through this three-leveled space situation.
Unlike the sun’s position in the sky, the moon’s path will vary to great degrees depending on its latitude and the season. Cloud cover could always get in the way as well.
Those wishing to photograph will be well off to use a tripod, a good zoom lens, and for techies with good cameras, setting their exposure setting to 1/250 sec shutter speed at f8 and ISO 100, and of course look east.
So again, if you get up early enough, at 5:51AM Eastern Standard Time Wednesday, you could see the Moon enter Earth’s penumbra (the lighter, outer part of its shadow). It slightly darkens the Moon, though only a little and will touch the umbra, the darker part of the shadow which gives the eclipse look at 6:48AM. However, the moon sets just 16 minutes later.
So even though the next Complete Solar Eclipse for our viewing area will not happen until 2024, 2018 is not looking so bad so far in the celestial events world.