When will January’s second full moon coincide with the lunar eclipse


Skywatchers are set for a triple phenomenon as January’s second “supermoon” will turn an eerie red in parts of the world and coincide with a lunar eclipse.

This year’s second “supermoon” will appear on January 31 bringing with it a range of treats for lunar enthusiasts.

Stargazers shared spectacular images of the year’s first full moon – known as a Wolf Moon – on January 2.

In parts of the world, including Australia and parts of North America, the second “supermoon” is also set to turn a spectacular shade of red as the earth passes directly in front of it.

But, how, where and when is it best to see the spectacular lunar pattern?

A full moon, referred to as a supermoon, rises over the University of Notre Dame's main building Dec. 3, 2017, in South Bend, Ind. Triple treat: Supermoon, blue moon and lunar eclipse all coming to a sky near you next week

What is a “supermoon”?

A “supermoon” happens as a full moon aligns with the point closest to the earth in the moon’s elliptical orbit.

During this time the moon appears bigger and brighter.

Many people mistakenly refer to the second “supermoon” in a month as a Blue Moon.

Edward Bloomer, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, told the Standard that this actually occurs when three “supermoons” appear in one lunar calendar.

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When will the “supermoon” be visible?

The moon will appear 14 percent bigger and brighter than usual from 6.30pm on January 30 and continue its impressive display on January 31, Mr Bloomer said.

Experts also recommend taking snaps of the moon as it rises.

Tom Kerss, Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich said: “During moonrise and moonset, you might think the Moon looks unusually large, but this is an illusion created in the mind when it appears close to the horizon.”

He continued: “Nevertheless, the ‘moon illusion’ can be a dramatic effect, and with the Moon rising so early, there will be ample opportunities to see its apparently huge face juxtaposed with the eastern skyline”.

What makes the moon a “blood moon”?

The “supermoon” will be extra special as stargazers in some parts of the world will see the spectacle with an added red glow.

This happens when the shadow of the earth casts a reddish hue on the moon.

Will we see the moon glow red in the UK?

Sadly, the blood element of the moon will only be seen by people in Australia, New Zealand, central and eastern Asia, Indonesia, North America, Alaska and Hawaii.

What about the lunar eclipse?

The appearance of the impressive moon will also coincide with a lunar eclipse.

A lunar eclipse takes place when the earth passes directly between the sun and the moon, according to Nasa.

But, this can only happen when the sun and moon are directly aligned.

The event can only take place during a full moon.

However, the eclipse will happen as the moon passes the Pacific Ocean meaning it will be visible in New Zealand, much of Australia and central and eastern Asia.

The rest of Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East will see a partial eclipse while the UK, most of Africa and much of the Americas will miss out completely.


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