Super blue blood moon worth waking up early

2 years 2 weeks 2 days ago Tuesday, January 30 2018 Jan 30, 2018 Tuesday, January 30, 2018 5:29:00 PM CST January 30, 2018 in Weather
By: Kenton Gewecke, KOMU 8 Chief Meteorologist

COLUMBIA - Wake up early Wednesday to see a rare event.

It’s called a Super Blue Blood Moon.

According to NASA, “This lunar trifecta is the first of its kind in 35 years and will not occur again until 2037.”

It is a “Supermoon” because it is in its closest orbit to Earth, appearing slightly brighter and around 14 percent bigger. However, it will look like nearly the same size as usual to the naked eye. Supermoons occur about once every 14 months. 

It is a “Blue Moon”, not because of its color, but because it is the second full moon within the same calendar month. Blue moons occur about once every 2.7 years. However, in another rare event, there will be another blue moon on March 31. The next time we’ll see two blue moons in the same calendar year is 2037.

It is a “Blood Moon” because it will be in the Earth’s shadow, giving it a red-orange tint. This is called a lunar eclipse. Unlike a solar eclipse, there is no need to worry about eye protection; it will not hurt your eyes. Blood moons occur about three times a year, but you must be on the night side of Earth to see them.

To view this rare event be sure to wake up early on Wednesday morning. The best views will be in the western United States. People living in the eastern United States will barely get to enjoy this event. That leaves Missouri in the middle.

Mid-Missouri will see the moon slowly enter under the “umbra shadow” of Earth, slowly darkening the moon, starting at 5:48 a.m.

Totality, when the moon will have full coloring, will happen at 6:51 a.m. in mid-Missouri.

To see this event you must be under the night’s sky. Therefore, when sunlight starts to flood the horizon at dawn, this rare visual will begin to fade. We won’t see totality for long. Sunrise is set for 7:16 a.m.

The next blood moon/lunar eclipse we’ll be able to see in in the United States occurs around midnight Jan. 21, 2019. At that time, we’ll be able to see the entire event start to finish. Totality will last for an hour! Mark your calendars!

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