MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - If you are into space, the moon, and rare phoneme then you are in luck! A 'Super Blue Blood Moon' will take place in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 31. For those living in the lower 48, the best viewing will take place in the west, so book a flight, set your GPS for a nice drive, or just long online, to see this lunar trifecta that will take place in just a few days.
What makes scientist fascinated about this moon? Well, there are three reasons why.
- It is the third in a series of “supermoons”, which means the moon is closest to the earth in its orbit (also known as perigee), which makes the moon roughly 14 percent brighter than normal. Although the moon will technically be closest to the earth on January 30th, NASA says that it will still be close enough to be considered a super moon on January 31st.
- This marks the second full moon of the month of January, also called a “blue moon”.
- Finally, the super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give those viewing the Super Blue Moon to see a total lunar eclipse. While in earth's shadow, the moon will take a red hue, also known as a “blood moon.”
While the best viewing of this spectacular sight won't be in the Mid-South, our friends on the West Coast, Alaska, and Hawaii will have a view of totality from start to finish.
Here in the Mid-South, the full eclipse will occur at 6:51 a.m. We will be able to see it only until 6:56 a.m. because the moon will set at that time and move below the horizon. Therefore, we only have about 5 minutes to get a view of the lunar eclipse. Due to the sun rising and pre-dawn lighting, the eclipse will be difficult to see anyways. The best place to view it here in the central time zone will be in a high location (tall building or top of a hill). The sky conditions will be clear for viewing on Wednesday morning.
If you miss this lunar eclipse, you will have to wait another year for the next chance to see one in North America. The Jan. 21, 2019 lunar eclipse will be visible in the U.S. and will be a supermoon, but it will not be a blue moon.