Field guide to full moons

Field guide to full moons

The Earth will be treated to a hat trick of awesome lunar sights on January 31, when a blue moon, total lunar eclipse, and supermoon will all take place on the same day. The last time such a lunar event occurred was March 31, 1866. Typically, a Blue Moon will appear once every three years or so. This shadow gradually will become noticeable as the moon penetrates deeper into the penumbra.At 4:48 a.m., the fun really begins as the moon begins to enter Earth's umbra, the dark circular shadow of Earth's spherical shape projected by more exact alignment of sun, Earth and moon. A blue moon happens when two full moons occur in the same month. January's first full moon occurred Jan. 1.

The January 31 supermoon, which is the first blue moon of 2018, marks the last in a trilogy of supermoons.

The "Super Blue Blood Moon" will be visible next Wednesday morning. Passing through the Earth's inner shadow, the Super Moon will take on a red appearance. Astronomers will tell you however that this one's not a ideal supermoon, as it would have crossed its closest point to the Earth a day before it reaches peak fullness and the eclipse begins.

That's when the moon will pass through the earth's shadow. The sunlight refracts around the earth and in turn NASA says we see the sunrise and sunsets across the earth reflected on the moon.

"It'll be blood red when it's in total eclipse, otherwise any Blue Moon on any regular day is just a moon", said Klassen.

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"Unfortunately, eclipse viewing will be more challenging in the Eastern time zone", Johnston said.

No matter: this month it is certainly true, as English writer and comedian Arthur Smith suggests: "The moon puts on an elegant show, different every time in shape, colour and nuance".

This free event will begin during eclipse partiality at 5:30 a.m. on the West Lawn of CSU's Lory Student Center.

Space enthusiasts, set your alarms for early next Wednesday morning if you want to see the big event!

Partial eclipse ends at 7:11 a.m.