Lunar Trifecta in Alaska: Super Blue Blood Moon

Visible Wednesday Morning At 3:48 a.m. A blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month.

It wasn't until 1979 that Richard Nolle first defined the supermoon, which is now a widely-used term.

"A supermoon is when the moon is at its closest in its orbit around the earth, and it happens to fall on a full moon".

"Also, the full moon will be slightly larger than normal given that this is also a supermoon, so astrophotography will be more spectacular than normal". The last time the three elements combined at the same time was in 1866.

Here in Wichita, you'll only be able to see a partial event, as sunrise will cause the moon to set.

So what exactly is a blue moon? . But the colour will not turn blue.

The alignment of the sun, moon and Earth will last one hour and 16 minutes, and the full eclipse will peak at 1:51am on February 1. That red glow is where the name blood moon comes from. That's not paranormal, that's physics. The atmosphere will filter out most of the blue-colored light and what's left over is the orange/red colored light. Okay sorry, it's still spooky! That's called the penumbra and is hard to see with the naked eye. But that's only the start of a full-moon trifecta that night. "During its totality, it does look like a deep kind of blood red", Andersen said.

But obviously they're still pretty rare, and to make it doubly special for Seattleites, the best view for this once-in-152-year astronomical event will be the West Coast.

If you miss it, check back next year.

"The last time that we had a blue moon total lunar eclipse was December 30, 1982, " she said.

"So your best opportunity if you live in the East is to head outside about 6:45 a.m. and get to a high place to watch the start of the eclipse", Johnston said.

Here's what you need to know.

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Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses can be viewed safely with the naked eye or a pair of binoculars. On Wednesday, the facility will open early at 5 a.m.

  • Carolyn Briggs