The Most Spectacular Eclipse of 2018 Is In Less Than a Week

The Most Spectacular Eclipse of 2018 Is In Less Than a Week

In North America, you'll need to be in the west to see the total lunar eclipse, which happens to coincide with a supermoon and a blue moon. Once in a blue moon is only once every few years, but once in a super, blue, blood moon is just once every few decades. This rare alignment of three different lunar phenomena—a total lunar eclipse, a full moon at perigee, and a blue moon—will be visible in the night and early morning skies for much of the world on Wednesday, January 31. During the total lunar eclipse, the moon will pass into the shadow of the Earth, blocked from direct sunlight by our planet, bathing Luna in a red glow that has led to the informal name of lunar eclipse totality: a blood moon. "If you were out on the moon looking back at the Earth, you would see this beautiful red ring around the Earth," says Noah Petro, a lunar researcher with NASA. The light is red, says Petro, for the same reason that we see red sunrises and sunsets when the sun is low in the sky and its light is filtered through the atmosphere. The total lunar eclipse will be visible in the western United States and Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, large parts of Russia and China, and parts of the Middle East. Totality, when the moon will be cast a blood red, begins at 4:52 a.m. PST, peaks at greatest eclipse at 5:30 a.m., and concludes at 6:08 a.m., spanning an hour and 16 minutes. Unfortunately in the eastern United States, the moon will set in the sky before the total eclipse begins. A partially eclipsed supermoon will be visible in the hours before dawn, but to see the much of the blood moon, you need to get west of the Mississippi.

Read More: Popular Mechanics

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