Friday, February 2, 2018
Super Blue Blood Moon on January 31st.
Every day there is something new and wonderful to explore. This week it was a view of the Moon and it was in our own yard. We haven't had the chance to see this since 1866 so we grabbed our gear and got outdoors.
On January 31st, 2018 we had a rare occurrence. It was a Super Blue Blood Moon. Sounds kind of weird. Lets break it down.
Since the Moons orbit around the earth is not a perfect circle the distance varies through out its cycle. Super Moons occur when the moon is on its closest approach to the earth. When its a Full Moon its a Super Full Moon and when its a New Moon its a Super New Moon. Simple enough. These appear 12 to 14 percent bigger than when they are at their furthest. Because they appear bigger they also appear 30 percent brighter. Most days the center of the Moon is about 238,000 miles from the center of Earth. A Super Moon is less than 223,694 miles away.
January, 2018 had two Full Moons and they were both Super Moons. The first was on January 1st and the second was on January 31st. When we have two Full Moons in one month we call this a Blue Moon. I know I use the term once in a Blue Moon often and this is where it comes from.
When a Lunar Eclipse occurs the Moon is covered in the shadow of the Earth. When this happens the Moon has a red glow that gives it the name Blood Moon.
On January 31st we got all three astronomical events to line up and give us a Super Blue Blood Moon. It was a pretty cool event to see.
If you love star gazing at all you should check out this link. Bryce Canyon Astronomy and Night Sky Programs. The light in all these cities around us make the night sky hard to see due to all the light pollution. Bryce Canyon National Park gets so dark that you can see 7500 stars on a moonless night. This is one of those trips we have on our bucket list we hope to check off in 2018. Somewhere in our boxes is a telescope itching to get out.
Did you get to see the Super Blue Blood Moon? What is your favorite thing to see in the night sky? What should we do next?