The super blue blood moon: A trifecta of astronomical events


It's the astronomical trifecta, a lunar hat-trick, it's the Super Blue Blood Moon and it arrives Wednesday morning.

A total lunar eclipse, also known as a "blood moon", is pictured from Gosford, north of Sydney, October 8, 2014.

If you miss Wednesday's lunar eclipse, you'll have to wait almost another year for the next one visible to North America.

A blue moon refers to the second full moon in a month.

Dr. Marco Ciocca, a professor at Eastern Kentucky University, explains that it's already uncommon to see a full supermoon, but to add an eclipse into the mix as well is even rarer.

People from Rajasthan and other parts of Western India can see it between 6:21 PM IST and 7:37 PM IST, while the rest of India should be able to view it between 5:18 PM IST and 6:21 PM IST.

"Of course that happens every month, that the Moon approaches and moves away from us following its orbit, but if the approach coincides with the full Moon it is called a Super moon".

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On the 31st of January, the Moon will officially reach its full phase at 6:57 a.m IST.

Hafey said he looks forward to the super blue blood moon.

On January 31st the Earth, the Sun and the Moon will align, giving rise to a total lunar eclipse. It's only January of 2018, but this year is looking like it's doing its best to continue the tradition, and this week's incredibly rare super blue blood moon is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Lunar eclipses have long played an important role in understanding Earth and its motions in space. At 4:51 a.m., totality will begin, with best viewing between about 5 and 6 a.m. local time. You've of course heard the term "once in a blue moon", which is a nod to its rarity. The super blue moon will pass through Earth's shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse.

The last total lunar eclipse occurred September 27-28, 2015. "So we're actually really lucky to be in the western part of the United States, kind of central to the west, so we can actually see the total lunar eclipse".

It's excellent news for those who missed out on the spectacle of last summer's full solar eclipse.

Brits unable to watch in person can get a glimpse from a live stream, but sadly the event won't be visible from our shores.

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