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The Super Blue Blood Moon

31 Jan 2018, 12:11 UTC
The Super Blue Blood Moon
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Tonight (31 January, 2018) the world, or at least a lot of it, will get to see a very rare lunar event, known as a super blue blood moon. The last time such a combination of lunar phenomena took place was in 1866!
Super blood moon in 2015, but it wasn’t a blue moon! Photo credit: Casey Davis
So what is a super blue blood moon?
It is in fact a combination of three separate lunar events:

A super moon occurs when the moon is closest to the earth. This is known as the moon being at perigee, and means that the moon can appear up to 7% bigger and up to around 14-15% brighter.
A blue moon occurs when a full moon happens twice during one calendar month.
A blood moon is the effect caused by a lunar eclipse, when the sun, earth and moon align such that the earth shadow from the sunlight covers the moon giving it a red tinge.

Sadly here in the UK we won’t see the blood effect as we are outside the area to see a visible eclipse, but viewers in Australia, China and the USA should fare better.
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