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First Blue Moon Total Lunar Eclipse in 150 Years Coming This Month
05 January 2018, 01:09 | Francis Delgado
Supermoons, meteor shower to light up the sky this January
Twice in 2018 the moon will "blush" in the sky as there will be two total eclipses of the Moon, one at the end of January and one at the end of July. Such a skywatching event hasn't happened for more than 150 years.
The coolest thing to look for on January 31 will be the total lunar eclipse, when the moon lines up with the Earth and sun so that the sun's light, which normally shines off the moon, is blocked by our planet. On America's East Coast the eclipse will start coming into view at 5:51 a.m. and will give viewers in cities like NY only a small window to see the reddish moon. People belonging to the west coast of North America along with sky watchers from the Pacific Ocean region shall be able to view the phenomenon.
The moon orbits around Earth in what is called an ellipse, keeping an average distance from Earth of about 238,000 miles. All times are a.m.
To add to the allure of the event, this blue supermoon will also be a red or "blood" moon. For those in the Eastern Time zone, that means the partial eclipse begins at 6:48 a.m., while people in the middle of the country can catch the total eclipse beginning at 6:52 am Central Time. This makes for a moon that appears bigger and brighter in the night sky.
How to Watch the First Blue Moon in 150 Years
During totality, the Moon's lower limb will appear much brighter than the dark upper limb, "Space.com" reported. The reddish color of the eclipsed moon earned it the name Blood Moon.
Pagasa said the use of protective filters will not be necessary as lunar eclipses are safe for viewing. 3000, by Bao-Lin Liu and Alan D. Fiala (Willmann-Bell Inc., 1992).
Following the two full moons occurring in January, the calendar month of February will have no full moon.
You can see if your location will be one of those witnessing a total eclipse on this EarthSky map. Before 2017, there was 8% partial eclipse on 31 December 2009, but the last total eclipse of a Blue Moon happened all the way back in 31 March 1866.
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