Supermoon is a term used to describe when the moon is full and closest to the Earth, appearing 15% brighter and 30% larger than a regular full moon.
The moon orbits around Earth in what is called an ellipse, keeping an average distance from Earth of about 238,000 miles.
The moon will be at its closest distance to Earth - 358,995 kilometers - on January 31 at 5:54 p.m. Now, sky watchers are preparing for an even rarer event this month: a blue moon total lunar eclipse.
What makes it a rare celestial event is the fact that this is going to happen for the first time in over 150 years. The New Year marked the day for two of the three supermoons one after the other which has been dubbed by NASA as the "Supermoon trilogy". A royal blue blood supermoon will crown this spectacular season on January 31.
So when and where can the "Super Blue Blood Moon" be seen?
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The end of this month will see the beginning of one of the moon's most handsome nights.
The greatest or total eclipse will occur at 9:29 p.m. of January 31.
What is a blue moon? The moon will appear bigger and brighter in the sky.
Another Blue Moon is expected to be seen late in March this year making it a really special year for astronomers and astrologers. This promises to be a banner year for lunar exploration, and not just because of the renewed interest in sending astronauts back to the moon's surface. Heading farther west into western Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, the eclipse will already be underway as the moon rises.
The coolest thing to look for on January 31 will be the total lunar eclipse, when the moon lines up with the Earth and sun so that the sun's light, which normally shines off the moon, is blocked by our planet.
The total eclipse will begin at 8.51pm and end at 10.08pm, while the partial eclipse will end at 11.11pm. In California? You'll get a good view of totality, with the total phase starting at 4:51 a.m. and ending at 6:07 a.m.
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