Super Blue Blood Moon: January 31 at Dawn

Super blue blood moon
NASA photo

One of the rarest of lunar phenomena, a “super blue blood moon,” will be visible just before dawn on Wednesday, January 31 – for the first time in 152 years.

Beginning at 5:30 a.m. EST on January 31, a live feed of the Moon will be offered on NASA TV and NASA.gov/live. You can also follow at @NASAMoon.

Gordon Johnston, program executive and lunar blogger at NASA headquarters in Washington, said this moon is special for three reasons. It’s the third in a series of “super moons,” when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit — known as perigee — and about 14 percent brighter than usual, he said. It’s also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a “blue moon.” The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.”

The NASA website reports that for viewers in the New York City region, the Moon will enter the outer part of Earth’s shadow at 5:51 a.m. But Johnston said it won’t be all that noticeable. The darker part of Earth’s shadow will begin to blanket part of the Moon with a reddish tint at 6:48 a.m. EST, but the Moon will set less than a half-hour later.

“So, your best opportunity if you live in the East is to head outside about 6:45 a.m. and get to a high place to watch the start of the eclipse,” Johnston said. “Make sure you have a clear line of sight to the horizon in the west-northwest, opposite from where the Sun will rise.”

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