NEXT month’s “blood moon” eclipse will be the biggest the world has witnessed so far this century, with large swathes of Europe in line for a spectacular visual display on the night of July 27.
And if that isn’t enough to whet the appetites of amateur stargazers, Mars will the closest to Earth it has been since 2003.
During a total lunar eclipse, the sunlight which reaches the Moon is refracted by Earth’s atmosphere, which filters out the Sun’s blue light – making the moon look red.
Next month’s eclipse will be especially long because the Moon will pass almost directly through the centre of the Earth’s shadow or umbra.
The Earth will be at its furthest point from the Sun on the day in question, allowing it to cast a bigger shadow.
And the Moon will be at its most distant point in its monthly orbit around the Earth.
Writing on the earthsky.org website, Bruce McClure said next month’s blood moon would last an hour and 43 minutes.He said: “This lunar eclipse is primarily visible from the world’s Eastern Hemisphere – Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
July will be the closest Mars has come to Earth in 15 years, providing a golden opportunity for spectacular nighttime watching, according to The Weather Channel.
The reason is that Earth will pass between Mars and the sun and will be closest to the red planet on July 31 — an estimated 35.8 million miles away. Mars will be notably visible to the naked eye all the way through July, but a telescope may come in handy to get a really vicarious thrill.
So-called perihelic opposition accounts for the phenomenon; expressed in simpler terms, this is when Earth passes straight between the red planet and the sun. According to NASA, perihelic opposition is a rare event as occurs only once every 15 to 17 years, when Earth and Mars’s orbits align to bring the two planets close together, thus pleasing sky gazers with fantastic views.
The rare Super Blue Blood Moon eclipse of Jan. 31 will thrill early-morning skywatchers around the world on Wednesday, but you’ll have plenty of ways to watch it if you don’t live in a region that will see totality.
Skywatchers in California, western Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, Australia and eastern Asia should be able to see the entire eclipse, weather permitting — they will see the moon pass completely through Earth’s shadow while simultaneously being at its closest to Earth (a “supermoon”) and, in most areas, the second full moon of the month (a “Blue Moon”). Early risers elsewhere can turn to live webcasts to watch the whole show.
Starting at 5:45 a.m. EST (1045 GMT), the Slooh online telescope will livestream all 5 hours and 17 minutes of the eclipse, as the moon passes completely through Earth’s shadow, from partners in Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Slooh’s experts will narrate the webcast starting at 7 a.m. EST (1200 GMT) to share the science and ancient lore related to lunar eclipses, supermoons and Blue Moons. You can watch the webcast live on Slooh.com, or on Space.com, courtesy of Slooh.
A special full moon is expected on Jan. 31, and if you’re in the western part of the U.S. you’ll have the best view.
It’s being called a “Super Blue Blood Moon” and it’s special for three reasons, according to NASA: it’s the third in a series of “supermoons,” that’s when the moon is closer to Earth in its orbit and is brighter than usual.
It’s also the second full moon of the month which is known as a “blue moon.”
Finally, the super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow, giving it a total lunar eclipse in some areas. While the moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a blood moon.
Blood moons have also been thought to have spiritual significance and to be part of prophecies. Some also believe they have special significance in relation to Israel.
Christianheadlines.com reported that Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mont Zion told Breaking Israel News the Super Blue Blood Moon is significant with world events, citing U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement of plans to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as the capital of Israel.
“Many people seem to be overlooking the real importance of this event,” Biltz told WND. “The ‘super moon’ which takes place on January 31 is what is termed a ‘blue moon,’ because it is the second full moon in one month. It’s also going to be a total lunar eclipse, making it a ‘blood moon’ as well. This is the first time there’s been a total eclipse for a blue moon in 150 years, which makes it remarkable enough.
“But what makes this truly mind blowing is when this will happen biblically! The eclipse will take place on Tu B’Shevat on the biblical calendar, the fifteenth day of the month of Shevat. This is important because this upcoming eclipse is only one of a series. The next one is on July 27, which is Tu B’Av or the fifteenth of Av on the biblical calendar. The next one is January 21, 2019 – which just so happens to be Tu B’Shevat again!”
A relatively large newly discovered asteroid designated 2018 AH flew past Earth at 0.77 LD / 0.00199 AU (~297 699 km / 184 982 miles) on January 2, 2018. This is the 1st known asteroid to flyby Earth within 1 LD this year, 54th since January 1, 2017 and the largest within 1 LD since 2011.
2018 AH was first observed at ATLAS-MLO, Mauna Loa on January 4, 2018, two days after its close approach to Earth. The closest approach to Earth took place at 04:25 UTC on January 2 at a speed (relative to the Earth) of 13.76 km/s.
It belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids, the most common one, and it has an estimated diameter of 84 – 190 m (275 – 693 feet), making it the largest known near-Earth object to flyby Earth within 1 lunar distance since 2011.
It is also the 9th largest known near-Earth object (asteroids + comets) to flyby Earth within 1 lunar distance ever. Over the past 18 years, only 2 asteroids larger than 2018 AH flew past us this close and 8 since 1918.
On January 31, a rare and beautiful celestial event, which only occurs once every 150 years, will be viewable from Earth.
A supermoon, a blue moon and a full lunar eclipse will all take place simultaneously in what has been called a super blue blood moon eclipse.
But what are the different elements that make up this phenomenon?
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.
A blue moon has nothing to do with colour but instead is the name given to the second full moon in a single month. There has already been one full moon this month – the supermoon that was visible in the evening of the 1st and early morning of the 2nd.
The super blue blood moon eclipse will be visible anywhere that it’s night-time, although some regions of the globe will only be able to see a partial eclipse.