Dubbed the 'super blue blood moon eclipse' by many news outlets, three rare celestial events will happen on the night of January 31st involving the moon! These three events include a supermoon, a blue moon, and a full lunar eclipse which will all occur in perfect alignment causing this super blue blood moon eclipse phenomena.

Here's a brief breakdown of supermoons, blue moons, and a lunar eclipse:

  • A supermoon happens when a full moon occurs on the same day that the moon is at its closest point in its orbit around the earth, which causes the moon to appear larger in the sky than usual.
  • Blue moons occur when a full moon happens twice in one calendar month, with the blue moon being the second full moon in that month. Since this only happens once every few years, people now use the colloquialism "once in a blue moon" in regard to events that happen rarely.
  • A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth passes in front of the moon in between the moon and the sun which, in turn, casts a shadow on the moon.

The supermoon, blue moon, and lunar eclipse will all happen simultaneously culminating in a phenomenon that hasn't happened in over 150 years. While the moon doesn't actually appear blue in color, it may appear red hence the name 'blood moon'. Sometimes during a total lunar eclipse, the moon may appear slightly red in color due to the way the sun's rays reflect on the moon at the time of the eclipse.

Catch this wild celestial event January 31st at 6:51 a.m CST. While the beginning stages of the eclipse actually start at 4:51 a.m CST, with the partial eclipse being visible at 5:48 a.m CST, the full lunar eclipse can be seen at 6:51 a.m CST. Although the full eclipse will be visible in Central Time, we will not be able to see the 'maximum' eclipse, which is basically the eclipse in its full totality. In the United States, the best areas to view the eclipse in complete totality are Hawaii and Alaska.