First Blue Moon total eclipse in 150 years to occur this month

First Blue Moon total eclipse in 150 years to occur this month

Because the moon travels around Earth in an ellipse it is sometimes closer than usual.

The January 31 supermoon is to be punctuated by a complete lunar eclipse.

Could this also be the year that commercial moon missions, with help from NASA, finally get off the ground?

Skywatchers will be treated to not only a supermoon, but a blue moon and total lunar eclipse, all in one night.

The last time all that happened together was nearly 152 years ago.

How unusual are Blue Moon eclipses?

A supermoon is a moon that is full when it is also at or near its closest point in its orbit around Earth, according to NASA.

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Regardless of how that turns out, the moon will be faithfully making its rounds up in the sky. Secondly, the moon will be a supermoon. But it will be 31 January that will be the most dramatic and odd of all, and the one that Nasa is advising people to make sure they catch.

Once in a blue moon?

.

In order to see the moon most clearly, stargazers should opt to travel outside of city limits; light pollution from the city lights obscures the view. The moon won't actually be blue, because the term simply refers to the second full moon in a month. The total eclipse of a blue moon has not happened in more than a 150 years apparently.

To the east, Alaska, Hawaii and northwestern Canada will see the eclipse from start to finish. "The lunar eclipse on January 31 will be visible during moonset".

"The supermoons are a great opportunity for people to start looking at the moon, not just that once but every chance they have", said Noah Petro, a research scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre.

Unless you are a regular moon-watcher, you may not notice anything different about this full moon. Before 2017, there was 8% partial eclipse on 31 December 2009, but the last total eclipse of a Blue Moon happened all the way back in 31 March 1866.

The phrase "once in a blue moon" - meaning something that does not happen very often - impresses how infrequent this event is.

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