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.


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