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How to watch rare 'Super Blue Blood Moon' in WA

31 January 2018, 06:13 | Vera Richards

How to watch rare 'Super Blue Blood Moon' in WA

PHOTOS: Super blue blood moon stuns stargazers all over the country

Set your alarm clock - early Wednesday morning, there's a lunar event that hasn't been seen since 1866. The full moon tomorrow will be the second one for the month of January.

North America will be treated to a blue moon, super moon and a lunar eclipse all at once during the early morning hours of Wednesday.

The rare celestial event is actually three separate moon events occurring simultaneously in one night. The supermoon which is known by Native American tribes as the "Wolf Moon", is when the moon is closest to Earth, known as the perigee. The Moon appears slightly bigger and brighter compared to other full moons.

How to watch rare 'Super Blue Blood Moon' in WA

Super Moon? Blue Moon?

The term 'blue moon, ' Benner said, once referred to the third full moon in a season, but has changed due to mistakes printed in science and astronomy magazines in the middle of the 20th century. Because February is only 28 days and the lunar cycle is about 29 days, March will also see two full moons.

SNOW: That's just one of the Native American nicknames for the second full moon of the year. The shadow has two regions, the lighter penumbra and darker umbra, because Earth is a sphere, and the umbra is red for the same reason sunsets are red for us, here on Earth. Before that, the moon will enter the outer portion of the Earth's shadow, or penumbra, at 2:51 a.m. PST.

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Everyone in the USA will be able to see at least some portion of the eclipse, with the best views in Western states. The eclipse will end slightly before moonset, at 7:07 a.m. MST.

Truly a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical phenomenon, you won't want to miss this.

But Murray said it could be a disappointment to many keen astronomers because of possible broken cloud and rain hiding the lunar eclipse from view.

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"There should be some shade of reddish colour visible during the total phase of the eclipse", he said.

Many parts of the globe may catch a glimpse Wednesday of a giant crimson moon, thanks to a rare lunar trifecta that combines a blue moon, a super moon and a total eclipse.

"I'm calling it the Super Bowl of moons", lunar scientist Noah Petro said Monday from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. And for an encore, the moon passes through Earth's shadow this week for a total lunar eclipse.

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Murray said the blood moon effect comes from the sunlight streaming from the northern atmosphere giving the moon a red colouring.

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