A look at the marvelous cosmic trifecta called super blue blood moon
The West Coast, Alaska and the Hawaiian islands will be some of the best places for viewing a lunar trifecta called a super blue blood moon on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.
“For the (continental) U.S., the viewing will be best in the West,” said Gordon Johnston, program executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters, in an article. “Set your alarm early and go out and take a look.”
NASA said the Jan. 31 full moon is special for three reasons: it’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. It’s also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a “blue moon.” The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.”
Californians will be treated to the total eclipse phase from start to finish, though the penumbral shadow will pass after the moon has set. The umbral eclipse begins at 3:48 a.m. At 4:51 a.m., totality will begin, with best viewing between about 5 and 6 a.m. local time. The totality phase ends about 6:05 a.m.
The U.S. East Coast will be out of luck, the Associated Press reported. The moon will be setting just as the eclipse gets started. Europe and most of Africa and South America also will pretty much miss the show.
"I'm calling it the Super Bowl of moons," lunar scientist Noah Petro told the AP Monday from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.