Sky gazers, don't miss the super blue moon lunar eclipse Wednesday morning


The celestial show that NASA has dubbed a "super blue blood moon" is due to embellish the predawn sky on Wednesday, a rare convergence of three lunar spectacles: a blue moon, a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse.

To complete the trifecta, this super blue moon will also coincide with a lunar eclipse, or blood moon. The eclipsed Moon will be dimly illuminated by the refracted light of the sunrises and sunsets occurring around the rim of the Earth, giving it a reddish hue, and thus the reference to blood.

"The Earth has a much bigger shadow than the moon, so that's why lunar eclipses are a little more common". This partial eclipse starts at 5:48 a.m. CST and will continue until the moon sets at 6:50 a.m. CST. Inevitably, though, we get two full moons a month, and when that occurs the second full moon is called a blue moon. The Jan. 21, 2019 lunar eclipse will be visible in the US and will be a supermoon, but it will not be a blue moon.

Where the moon is covered by the Earth's shadow, known as the period of totality, it will last just over one and a quarter hours, according to EarthSky.

In the United States, the best viewing (total lunar eclipse) will be in the Western states. However, the UAE residents will have only three to four minutes to see the total super moon eclipse.

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To see this event Wednesday, we'll need to keep the clouds away early Wednesday morning. That's when the moon slides into the earth's shadow. The third makes it a Supermoon i.e. the moon will be the closest to the Earth. It just so happens that during the full blue moon this Wednesday it will also turn into a blood moon, as we'll have a near total lunar eclipse.

The special event has not taken place in over 150 years, with the last time this moon appeared in the skies being 1866.

"It disappears and then actually comes back and then disappears again", he said.

That event also occurred at the moon's orbital perigee, making it an extra bright supermoon. "The overall eclipse ends at 12.08 midnight on Feb 1", he explained. The good news for bloody moon fans is that the moon being in the umbra combined with the usual reddening of the moon when it's close to the horizon will make the moon extra bloody!

Dr Vijay Bhaskar, director of Centre of Space Medicine, has meanwhile asked citizens not to encourage superstitions associated with the lunar eclipse. "Obviously, the farther west you go, the more likely you're going to be able to see it".