Research

Skywatchers across US Observe Rare Super Blue Blood Moon

Skywatchers across US Observe Rare Super Blue Blood Moon

Skywatchers were hoping for a rare lunar eclipse that combines three unusual events - a blue moon, a super moon and a total eclipse, which was to make for a large crimson moonviewable in many corners of the globe.

Super Blue Blood Moon as seen in the skies of Delhi.

Paul Taylor's stunning view from Hawke's Bay caught the eye of many on Facebook.

Lunar eclipses occur when the moon, earth and sun are all aligned, which can happen several times per year.

Yashwe, a 7th class student from St. Thomas School at Mandir Marg, said: "It's a rare opportunity and being a member of an astronomy club, I feel delighted after watching the eclipse live".

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit The moon sets behind clouds in the Mediterranean sea off the coast of Hadera, Israel, early Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.




Astrophysicist Alan Duffy said the random event is a rare trifecta, with the moon appearing bigger and a third brighter before it turns red when the moon passes into the earth's shadow and reflects the sun back at the earth.

The stars aligned on January 31 as cloud-free skies granted skywatchers across Japan with clear views of the ultra-rare "super blue blood moon" total eclipse.

Super moon rises on the Strand, Townsville. During the more than one hour of totality, the temperature will plunge 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius), said lunar scientist Noah Petro of Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "It's just loading up the plate with all the wonderful things the moon can show us".

Dr. Christian, an observational stellar and solar astronomer, commented that, "In Ancient Times people would get very worked up when the moon sort of disappeared and then turned blood red, so it was a really bad omen". A blue moon is when a full moon occurs twice in a month.

For the trivia crowd, the moon was 360,200 kilometres away at the peak of the eclipse, close enough for supermoon status, according to NASA.

As Sky and Telescope reports, the next eclipse comes on February 15.