The end of the first month of 2018 will witness a lunar event that will be occurring after 152 years. The second full moon of the month, also called a Blue Moon, at its perigee, will enter a total lunar eclipse on 31st January 2018.
The occurrence of the ‘Super Blue Blood Moon’ is such a rare occasion since it combines a number of coincidences. Two full moons occur in a month once every 2.7 years. A Supermoon occurs only when the moon becomes a full moon at its perigee (at its closest to the Earth), which happens about once a year. A lunar eclipse occurs about two to four times a year. Out of all lunar eclipses, only 35% are total lunar eclipses which can be seen by the naked eye. The Supermoon of 31st January shall combine the events of a Blue Moon, a Supermoon, and a total Lunar Eclipse in one, making it a historical lunar event.
Central and Eastern Asia, New Zealand, Indonesia, and Australia shall witness the first view of the eclipse, which is anticipated to occur around midnight when the Pacific Ocean will be facing the moon. Alaska, Hawaii, and North-Western Canada shall witness the complete lunar eclipse while the US Atlantic seaboard, the partial phases of the eclipse will coincide with the moonrise. In India, the eclipse can be viewed from various locations between 6:00-9:30 p.m. IST. The moon shall be moving through the lower part of the Earth’s shadow, making its lower limb appear brighter than its upper limb. The eclipse will last for about 77 minutes.
This rare lunar event last occurred on 31st March 1866 and after this year it is anticipated to occur again on 31st December 2028.