Super Blue Blood Moon – How to View the rare event in South Florida

Super Blue Blood Moon 2018

NASA describes the rare celestial event as “a lunar trifecta.” A lunar eclipse along with a Super Moon, Blue Moon, and Blood Moon are predicted to have an extraordinary “layering effect” as they all converge on January 31.

The last time all three events – a full moon, a total lunar eclipse, and a supermoon blue moon – happened on the same day in the Americas was March 1866. But if you oversleep and miss the early morning show, the next super blue blood moon is only 19 years away, scheduled for February 1, 2037.

Wednesday’s supermoon is the third in a series. The phenomenon happens when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit — known as perigee — and about 14 percent brighter than usual. It’s also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a “blue moon.” The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon,” according to NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The Super Blue Blood Moon is ideally viewed from the west coast of the U.S. So, what’s a South Floridian to do? Here are a few pointer:

  1. Don’t get out too early! – The eclipse begins at 5:51 AM ET, as the Moon is about to set in the western sky, and the sky is getting lighter in the east. But it will hardly be noticeable in our area.
  2. Watch for red. – The darker part of Earth’s shadow will begin to blanket part of the Moon with a reddish tint at approximately 6:48 a.m. EST, but the Moon will set less than a half-hour later.
  3. Act quickly! – There’s not much time between the reddish hue and the setting of the moon. Tip: Aim for 6:45 a.m.
  4. View from a high place with a clear westward horizon view.

If you want to see the celestial event in all of it splendor, you may watch it live beginning at 5:30 a.m. EST on January 31, on NASA TV and NASA.gov/live. You can also follow at @NASAMoon.

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