In a rare celestial occurrence, people around the world would be able to witness a total lunar eclipse and a super blue moon today, January 31, 2018.
The event is being termed as a super blue blood moon and would be a rare lunar event to watch. According to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the celestial event is a lunar trifecta where three particular events are colliding including total lunar eclipse, blue moon and the super moon phenomena.
Those living in the United States, Alaska and Hawaii will be able to see a pre-dawn ‘super blue blood moon’ while the rest of the world will enjoy the best view of the lunar eclipse.
Luckily for India, residents here would also be able to witness the super blue blood moon. According to BM Birla Science Centre's Director BG Sidharth, the lunar eclipse would be visible from India with the moon taking a red-brown glow, also called the ‘Blood Moon’.
What is a Total Lunar Eclipse?
During the lunar eclipse, the earth comes exactly between the sun and the moon and the earth's shadow falls on the moon. If the three are almost exactly on the same line, it is called a total lunar eclipse.
The eclipse will make the moon glow in a shade of orangey red hence, the name ‘blood moon’.
What is a Blue Moon?
• A blue moon occurs when two full moons rise in the same calendar month.
• Generally, a full moon can be seen once a month. Occasionally, in every three years or so, it happens twice in one month.
• The second full moon of a month is termed as a blue moon.
• The last Blue Moon occurred in July 2015. In 2018 however, it will occur twice, once in January and second time in late March.
• Two appearances of the blue moon in the same year is a rare event and it won’t be seen again for another 19 years.
What is a Super Moon?
A super moon occurs when the moon is at its closest point to Earth and appears to be 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than normal.
Impact of the event
The super blue blood moon may bring slightly higher tides in rivers and seas but nothing very alarming.
• The combination of these rare events has not been witnessed by anyone in the last 150 years.
• The last time all of these events occurred simultaneously in the Western hemisphere was in 1866.
• In Asia however, the last Blue Moon and total lunar eclipse happened on December 30, 1982.
At what time will be eclipse occur in India?
• In India, the eclipse will start around 5.18 pm. The Super blue blood moon will be visible between 5.18 and 6.21 pm.
• The total eclipse will end around 7.37 pm and the Moon will slowly come out of the shadow of the Earth.
• The partial eclipse will end around 8.41 pm. In total, the eclipse will last for about 1 hour and 16 minutes.
• It's the first total lunar eclipse since 2015