‘Super Blue Blood Moon’ Spectacle

Blue Moon

 

By Victoria Gill in BBC News.

 

The night sky has a display in store on Wednesday, 31 January, with a lunar event being called the “Super blue blood moon”.

For Australia, Asia and some parts of the US and Eastern Europe, there will be a lunar eclipse, as the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon.

On the very same night, our only natural satellite enters its closest point to us in its elliptical orbit.

It will also be the second full Moon of the month, commonly called a blue moon.

The word “blood” has been used to describe the deep red colour of the sunlight that passes through Earth’s atmosphere to illuminate our celestial neighbour.

This red glow was produced by the same effect that gave us blue skies and red sunsets, Dr Shannon Schmoll, director of Abrams Planetarium in Michigan, said.

“Some sunlight is skimming through the Earth’s atmosphere on its way to the Moon, and it also gets refracted or bent towards the Moon a little bit,” she said.

“So, we have this process of filtering out the blue light and leaving the red light to see.

“And then having that light bent a little bit toward the Moon.”

Dr Schmoll said the coincidence of these three lunar events was a “good excuse to go out and look at the night sky”.

 

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