Super blue blood moon is coming, but there will be no blood, no blue.
On Wednesday morning, a verbose lunar activity will take over the night sky: “super blue blood moon”. Yes, really. So what do these adjectives mean? The simple explanation is that this is a full moon, and it happens to be a good time.
For longer explanations, we need to analyze each word. Let’s start at the beginning and work backwards:
Do you know what the moon is?
The term “blood moon” is used to describe a whole lunar eclipse because it makes the moon a dark red color. This happens whenever the earth passes directly between the sun and the moon, and the moon falls into the shadow or shadow of our planet. However, the moon is not completely dark: the sun’s rays still shine on the surface of the moon, but because of the phenomenon known as “scattering”, it appears mostly red and orange.
When sunlight passes through the earth’s atmosphere, air molecules filter out different types of light. Blue and purple are easier to filter out or disperse because they have shorter wavelengths. (the light can easily hit small air molecules around the earth, such as nitrogen and oxygen, which scatter light in all directions.) The longer wavelengths of red and orange can pass through the atmosphere more easily. Then they were bent and redirected to the surface of the moon.
Although this light is only indirectly illuminated by the moon, the surface of the moon is much dimmer than usual. But the red moon is still visible in the night sky and looks a bit like our planet’s neighbor, Mars.
This part of the description is actually unrelated to the color of the moon. The calendar is considered a “blue moon” when it is the second full moon in the calendar. This doesn’t happen very often, because the full moon happens every 29.5 days. The full moon begins on January 1st, so it will be closed for a month this month.
But we all know that time is a flat circle, and the word is completely arbitrary.
This is not only a full moon, but also technically a super moon, meaning it is closer to earth than usual. The moon does not run around the perfect circle around our planet, but travels along more elliptical paths, so it is different from the earth. When the moon is closest to earth in orbit, it is 14 percent larger than the earth’s most distant moon, and 30 percent brighter than the moon.
When will you see this?
Super blue blood moon can be seen in North America and Hawaii on the morning of January 31, but the west coast view is better. When the moon falls on the east coast, the early stages of lunar eclipse begin. However, NASA plans to begin offering the moon live at 5:30 a.m. Eastern time, and you can see the eclipse schedule below:
Super blue blood moon’s timeline. Image: NASA.
According to NASA data, if you have limited observational data in your area, the next total lunar eclipse will be more visible throughout the United States. January 21, 2019 will be a year. It will also be a super moon, but not a blue moon, so the eclipse will be a three-word event instead of four.