Once in a ‘Super Blue Blood Moon’

A full blood moon appears as the Jan. 31, super moon is completely covered by the earth’s shadow or umbra. Scott Padgett photo

It’s been 35 years since sky watchers have looked to the skies to see a rare “Super Blue Blood Moon,” but the one that appeared in the heavens in the early morning hours Jan. 31, did not disappoint.

Hundreds of local photographers flocked to their favorite spots to begin shooting the celestial event which was last seen anywhere on Earth in 1982, according to eclipse experts. It’s been even longer since those living in the Americas have seen one; 150 years to be exact.

The moon officially reached its full phase at 5:27 a.m. Pacific Standard time, according to Space.com, and since it is the second full moon in the month that gives this moon the distinction of being called a “blue moon.” The moon also made an especially close approach to earth around the same time, making it what is known as a “super moon.”

Jan. 31 also saw an eclipse of the moon, when the earth is between the moon and the sun with the moon passing through the earth’s shadow, something that occurs twice a year, on average. At totality, the moon takes on a reddish tone, hence the name blood moon, Space.com explained.

Put it all together and what do astronomy buffs get? A “Super Blue Blood Moon.”

Those residing on the West Coast and brave enough to bundle up and sit out in the chilly 39-degree temperatures got an amazing view of this once in a lifetime celestial event as the moon turned a brilliant orange-reddish color.

For those who missed last week’s super blue blood moon, fear not, they will still be able to see their fair share of celestial events. The next blue moon will appear in two months, March 31; the next super moon is will appear July 13 and the next lunar eclipse will occur July 17.

While space experts have yet to announce the date of the next super blue blood moon, the next super moon lunar eclipse visible in North America will occur Jan. 21, 2019.

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