Everything You Need to Know About the Upcoming Lunar Trifecta: The "Super Blue Blood Moon!"

Image from NASA

Image from NASA

A rare celestial event has got scientists and stargazers all abuzz, and it's one we don't think you should miss! 

NASA is calling the phenomenon a "lunar trifecta," or in other words, a Super Blue Blood Moon. Those of us in the Western Hemisphere will be able to see an extraordinarily large moon with a reddish glow early Wednesday morning, January 31st.

This Super Blue Blood Moon is a combination of 3 lunar events. Firstly, the moon will be considered a "supermoon" due to its proximity to a perigee, or a coordinate at which the moon is closest to the Earth. According to NASA, supermoons can appear to be up to 14% brighter then regular full moons.

The supermoon will also be a "blue moon", as it will be the second full moon of the month. Because full moons are separated by a period of 29 days, we typically only see 1 per month. Every once and a while, however, a second full moon makes its way into a calendar month. This is what we call a blue moon.

And last but not least, this Super Blue Moon will occur during a total lunar eclipse! This will give the moon an eerie red glow as it passes through the Earth's shadow; hence the moniker "blood moon."

According to Space.com, the last blue blood moon occurred over 150 years ago!  

If you're in the USA's West Coast (including Alaska, and the Hawaiian islands), you're in luck. These will be optimal viewing locations, where the eclipse is expected to begin at 3:48 a.m. PST and reach its peak between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. The lunar eclipse will also be viewable from the central US, where it will begin around 6:15 a.m.

Though not ideal for viewing, parts of the East Coast will see a partial eclipse around 6:45 a.m. EST. A clear western horizon line and high elevation is recommended for East Coast viewing.

Will you have your eyes on the skies in the wee hours of the morning on July 31st? Let us know in the comment section below!