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Celestial spectacle: 'Super blue blood' moon to end January

29 January 2018

The January 31 super, blue and blood moon - the first in some 150 years - will be viewable by many on the surface of our planet, unless it's cloudy.

Although viewers in the United Kingdom and Africa will not be treated to the eclipse this time around, they can always livestream the event online via Nasa or the Virtual Telescope Project's website. As light is scattered away and refracted by our atmosphere during the lunar eclipse, most of the colors are filtered out, leaving us with a reddish "blood moon". Since the moon needs to be behind the Earth, relative to the sun, a lunar eclipse can only happen on a full moon. Our next total lunar eclipse will take place on July 27th, but it will only be visible from South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. The darker umbra reaches the Moon at 3:48 AM, and the Moon will be totally in the umbra from 4:51 AM until 6:08 AM. These occur once every 2.7 years, because the number of days from new moon to new moon is a bit less than a typical calendar month; 29.53 days instead of 31 or 30 days, according to Space.com.

A#Total Lunar Eclipse is predicted to occur in the early hours of January 31.

This spectacle occurs when the earth comes directly between the sun and the moon.

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"Weather permitting, the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii will have a spectacular view of totality from start to finish", said George Johnston, lunar blogger at NASA, in a press statement. It will be visible before sunrise on 31 January from western North America, and because of the global date line, after sunset on 31 January from central and eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and most of Australia.

But it won't be the only type of moon visible that morning.

"But on that date the moon was near apogee, its most distant point from Earth", it said.

If you've got a good imagination, the best view would be from the moon, he says.

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Each lunar cycle, the moon passes through perigee - the point in its elliptical orbit closest to Earth.

The day will see a lunar eclipse which is also a "Super Blue" moon, making it truly a once in a blue moon event.

While the Earth revolves around the sun, the moon revolves around the Earth. Scientists say the difference between the full moon and the almost full moon is imperceptible to most observers.

Dr Vijay Bhaskar, director of Centre of Space Medicine, has meanwhile asked citizens not to encourage superstitions associated with the lunar eclipse.

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You are going to need a heavy jacket, though. Fraknoi said. But most other Bay Area stargazers should head to the hills to catch a better glimpse.

Celestial spectacle: 'Super blue blood' moon to end January