Monday, January 29, 2018

Celestial Trifecta Wednesday: A Super Blue Blood Moon

Posted By on Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 12:53 PM

click to enlarge Wednesday's super blue blood moon's path. - NASA
  • NASA
  • Wednesday's super blue blood moon's path.
In case you haven’t heard, a rare celestial event known as a “super blue blood moon” — try saying that three times fast — will be unfolding overhead Wednesday morning, if the North Coast’s notoriously gray skies don’t get in the way.

Despite the somewhat ominous name, a super blue blood moon is basically a cosmic triple  play, as NASA explains it:

“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.'”

For the North Coast, viewing of what is being called a celestial trifecta begins before sunrise at 2:51 a.m. with the lunar eclipse reaching totality at 4:51 a.m. and lasting for just more than an hour. Unfortunately, the weather forecast is calling for early morning patchy fog along the coast and inland.

NASA will be showing a live feed of the moon beginning at 2:30 a.m. Pacific Time at NASA TV and Happy viewing.
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Kimberly Wear

Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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