A Blue Moon, Supermoon, and Blood Moon coincided on January 31, 2018 for the first time since 1866. It’s what has come to be known as a “Super Blue Blood Moon.”
As people lifted their heads, in their line of latitude respectively, to observe the night sky, they would have noticed — the moon shone differently last night.
According to NASA: “The January 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.”
Why is it called a Super Blue Blood Moon?
The reason has to do with a number of things, but most prominent among them are the following three.
1. A Supermoon
A Supermoon is considered to be the state the Moon is in when it appears to be bigger than usual because it comes closest to its orbit around the Earth.
2. A Blue Moon
a) If you follow the definition by amateur astronomer James Hugh Pruett (1886-1955), then a Blue Moon is considered the second full Moon in a month.
b) An older definition says a Blue Moon is the third of four full Moons in a single season.
3. A Blood Moon
A total lunar eclipse is often described as a Blood Moon because of the way the Moon looks during this specific stellar event.
A Blood Moon turns red due to the way the Moon is illuminated by sunlight that has been filtered and refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere as it lines up during a total lunar eclipse.
Who could see it?
While the Super Blue Blood Moon was visible across the entire globe, only certain parts of the Earth’s “night side” were able to catch a glimpse of the eclipse.
The most important prerequisite for witnessing this rare event was not a telescope, but a cloud-free sky. Since the Moon was full and even seemed up to 14 percent larger than normal, a telescope was not necessary to witness this spectacle.
If you happened to live in an area where a cloudy sky was prevalent, don’t worry, because luckily you can catch the highlights of the full Moon event on Slooh’s stream.
Watch the Slooh’s stream, which features online feeds of the January 31, 2018 Super Blue Blood Moon, as seen from space observatories in Hawaii, Australia, and Asia:
The next Super Blue Blood Moon
The next Super Blue Blood Moon is predicted to happen on December 31, 2028. It won’t be quite as large as this one because the Moon will not be at its closest point to Earth.
Another one is predicted to happen on January 31, 2037, a total of 17 hours before perigee.
The following tweet is a video of the January 31, 2018 Super Blue Blood Moon, as seen from around the world:
Did you see the super blue blood moon? Check out what it looked like around the world pic.twitter.com/Kng5flUN3Y
— NOLA.com (@NOLAnews) January 31, 2018