The blood moon or blue supermoon is coming in a rare lunar event, which happens only in every 150 years. The New Year supermoon was the second of a trilogy of inspiring supermoons between December and the end of January. NASA has confirmed that the “extra special” supermoon will reach its peak on the last night of January – Wednesday, January 31 2018 means today.
The supermoon, which is also a rare Blue Moon, will take on a red glow because it coincides with a total lunar eclipse. During a total lunar eclipse, the moon is also sometimes known as a Blood Moon because of the way the atmosphere bends the light.NASA said: “With the total eclipse, it’ll be a royal spectacle indeed: a ‘super blue blood’ Moon. “Sometimes the celestial rhythms sync up just right to wow us. Heed your calendar reminders.”
The lunar eclipse will take place when the full moon lines up perfectly with Earth and the Sun such that our planet totally blocks out the sunlight normally reflect off the Moon. Supermoons are usually 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than when the moon is at its furthest from Earth.
The moon’s orbit is elliptical; so one side of it is 30,000 miles (50,000 km) closer to Earth than the other.
Now let us understand these basic facts.
What is a supermoon?
Supermoons happen when a full moon approximately coincides with the moon’s perigee, or a point in its orbit at which it is closest to Earth. This makes the moon appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual.While the moon’s average distance is 238,000 miles (382,900 km) from Earth, its orbit isn’t perfectly circular, so that distance varies a small amount. The perigee for January’s supermoon is the closest of this year.
Supermoons don’t happen every month because the moon’s orbit changes orientation as the Earth goes around the sun. So, the long axis of the moon’s elliptical path around the Earth points in different directions, meaning that a full (or new) moon won’t always happen at apogee or perigee.
When to see the supermoon
In India, the supermoon can be viewed between 5pm to 7pm. First it’ll come and shine and afterwards will fade away with time loosing its brightness and color.
As per NASA, there are 3 reasons why this January 31 Super Blue Blood Moon is so special!
- In the series of ‘Supermoons’ this is the third one and will appear 14% brighter than usual.
- This one is the second full moon of the month. That’s why it’s also known as a ‘Blue Moon’.
- It will be a total lunar eclipse, and the moon will take on a reddish tint – thus a ‘Bloodmoon’!
From the ancient times, the moon has been an element of surprise, magic and stories. Hundreds of folklores, a number of bedtime stories, rhymes for children have revolved around the moon. Be it kids or the romantics – the aura of moon has left all of us bewildered.