Sci-tech

2 total eclipses of the Moon in 2018

2 total eclipses of the Moon in 2018

There has already been one full moon this month - the supermoon that was visible in the evening of the 1st and early morning of the 2nd.

These celestial phenomena aren't actually that dramatic on their own, but their alignment is a pretty cool reason to look at the sky.

How unusual are Blue Moon eclipses?

Blue Moons happen every two-and-a-half years on average, so, with the total eclipse, it will be a royal spectacle - a "super blue blood" moon, Nasa said. "But it's another great chance to watch the moon". They occur when the moon is in extremely close proximity to earth's orbit, and therefore appear much larger.

It's almost impossible to compare the apparent size of the supermoon with a micromoon from memory, but when seen side-by-side as in this graphic, it becomes clear.

The moon, which lies 385,000km away, guides life on Earth by creating its tidal rhythm and moderating the planet's axis and stabilising the climate. Supermoons are fairly uncommon, and so this moon would be notable in itself - but that's just the beginning. The last day of January will see the third supermoon in the sequence. Another trio comes in 2019.

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People had witnessed 2018's first supermoon on January 1 and January 2, this astronomical rarity of events is being called a super blue blood moon eclipse. This makes for a moon that appears bigger and brighter in the night sky. A royal blue blood supermoon will crown this spectacular season on January 31.

A "blue" moon has nothing to do with color.

The term blue moon has to do with frequency, and not, unfortunately, appearance. Because the lunar cycle is 29.5 days, there will be no full moon in February, which happens only about four times a century.

The first supermoon occurred on the first full night of 2018.

The phrase "once in a blue moon" - meaning something that does not happen very often - impresses how infrequent this event is.

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