Scientists and space enthusiasts are preparing for a lunar event so rare that it only happens once in a blue moon ― or, to be more specific, once in a super blue blood moon. But twice in each lunar cycle, the moon does cross into our planet's orbital plane. Usually, every calendar month only has one full moon, but sometimes, a second one squeezes in. That's the time between any particular phase of the moon, for example the time between two full moons. Blue light is filtered out, leaving the moon looking reddish during an eclipse.
What is a lunar eclipse? This color change occurs because the Earth's atmosphere acts like a prism and splits the sunlight into its constituent colors - the amount that the atmosphere bends the red light causes it to illuminate the moon.
While the January 31 lunar eclipse will be tough to see from some parts of the United States, there are other spectacular heavenly displays in store for Americans in the future.
"Lunar eclipses are a great opportunity to see the moon in full detail and to understand why some ancient civilizations knew thousands of years ago that the Earth was round", said De Leo-Winkler, who is organizing the lunar observation together with UCR's Astronomy Club.
What is a super blue blood moon?
What is a blue moon? Then, light that has traveled 93 million miles from the sun is refracted through a thin layer of air (if the Earth were a basketball, the atmosphere would only be the thickness of a few sheets of paper). The event begins when the moon enters the Earth's shadow at 6:48 a.m. and people should be able to see a small "bite" on the moon's upper edge for a short period of time, he said.
How can New Yorkers best increase their chances of seeing the super blue blood moon? Stargazers will need to wait until May 18, 2019, for a blue moon that fits this older, original definition.
A moon is considered a supermoon when it passes slightly closer to Earth in its orbit. The first supermoon of 2018 which took place on New Year's Day was previously described by NASA as the "biggest and brightest" one expected for the entire year.
According to NASA, the moon will be 223,068 miles from Earth, rather than the usual 238,855 miles. Because of its closeness, it's expected to appear 13 percent wider and 28 percent larger than it did during it did on January 15, when the orb was at its furthest point from Earth. As Donald W. Olson, Richard Tresch Fienberg, and Roger Sinnott write for Sky and Telescope, the blue moon disagreement can be traced back to 1946, when James Hugh Pruett wrote an article for Sky and Telescope called "Once in a Blue Moon".
This happened with our full moon earlier this month on January 1 and will again on January 31. Blue moons happen once every 2.7 years because of a mismatch in the lunar and calendar months.
There are long traditions of giving different moons names. The Moon will appear over Qatar sky at 5:17 PM and will stay till next morning at 6:50 AM Doha local time.