NASA wants to remind anyone living in the western US to set their clocks very early this Wednesday 31 January for a celestial event too good to miss, a very rare “super blue blood moon.”
It is in fact a combination of three common moon sightings. First of all, it is the third in a series of ‘super moons’ which feature whenever the Moon’s orbit is closer to Earth. Secondly, it is the second full moon of the month, which for stargazers is known as a ‘blue’ moon, and lastly, as it will pass through the Earth’s shadow, it will be given a reddish tint, which is known as a ‘blood’ moon.
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Mr Gordon Johnston, lunar blogger for NASA stated: “Set your alarm early and go out and take a look.”
“Weather permitting, the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii will have a spectacular view of totality from start to finish.”
“Unfortunately, eclipse viewing will be more challenging in the Eastern time zone. The eclipse begins at 5:51 AM ET, as the Moon is about to set in the western sky, and the sky is getting lighter in the east.”
The celestial event is expected to last about an hour and fifteen minutes or so, and will be streamed live by NASA.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">A "super blue blood moon" is coming. Here's how to see it <a href="https://t.co/PUTRkz9otL">https://t.co/PUTRkz9otL</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/NBCNewsMACH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBCNewsMACH</a></p>— NBC News (@NBCNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/956918676833361920?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 26, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Mr Paul Hayne of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder, explained: “The whole character of the moon changes when we observe with a thermal camera during an eclipse.”
“In the dark, many familiar craters and other features can’t be seen, and the normally nondescript areas around some craters start to ‘glow’ because the rocks there are still warm.”