A rare lunar event has kept the newspapers and internet abuzz. On January 31, the world will witness a blue moon, SUPERMOON and a bloody moon all in one night!
Wow! Let us help break it down for you.
What is a blue moon?
The second full moon in a month is called a blue moon. The first full moon in this month was on January 2 and the second one will appear on January 31. This happens once every two or three years. It happens ‘once in a blue moon!’
What is a SUPERMOON?
The moon’s orbit around Earth is not a perfect circle but an ellipse that’s longer than it is wide. As the moon follows this orbit, it’s sometimes closer to the Earth and sometimes farther away. At perigee, it is at its closest spot in its orbit to the Earth. A supermoon is when we have a full moon that’s near its perigee.
During a supermoon, the moon will look slightly larger and brighter than an average full moon.
Why will the moon turn blood red or copper?
The word “blood” is used to describe the reddish-copper color of the moon during a lunar eclipse.
What is a lunar eclipse? The moon moves in an orbit around the Earth, and at the same time, the Earth orbits the sun. Sometimes the Earth moves between the sun and the moon. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and a full moon form a near-perfect lineup in space. When this happens, the Earth blocks the sunlight that normally is reflected by the moon, and we can’t see the moon!
A lunar eclipse can occur only when the moon is full. The Moon doesn’t go completely dark, though: some of the Sun’s light still manages to shine onto the lunar surface, and it looks reddish in colour.
So what’s all the hysteria about?
On January 31, for 77 minutes, the usually white silvery moon will be covered with a bloody shadow during the total lunar eclipse. This will happen during the second full moon this month. To top this, the moon will be a “supermoon,” meaning it will appear slightly bigger and brighter than the average moon.
These three lunar events lining up at the same time is sheer coincidence!
When can I see it in India?
In India, the eclipse will start at 5.18 pm. The moon will partially enter into the earth’s shadow at this time. The Total eclipse will take place between 6:21pm – 7:37 pm.
The lunar eclipse can be seen through the naked eye.
Want to watch it online?