2018 has been a good start for the sky gazers. The year started with a stunning supermoon on January 1 and we don’t need to wait for the next celestial event. For the first time in over 150 years, a rare total lunar eclipse – popularly referred as the Blue Moon is set to take place on January 31. The best part of the eclipse is it will visible from India.
We all are aware of the fact that a lunar eclipse is a phenomenon that occurs when the earth, the moon, and the sun are in a perfect alliance. The time when the earth is between the sun and the moon, making the moon vanish in its shadow. The lunar eclipse on January 31st will be a special one as on the same night the moon will appear in three different forms – supermoon, blue moon and blood moon.
For the uninitiated, Supermoon is the occasion when a full moon is near or at a point when the moon’s orbit is closest to the earth. The supermoon appears 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter. We are aware of the term ‘once in a blue moon’ used for something that doesn’t happen frequently. If two full moon appears in a single month then it is termed blue moon. In 2018, there are two blue moons, first comes on January 31 and the second on March 31. The third phenomena are the blood moon – named after the reddish colour on the moon when a full moon aligns with the Earth and Sun. A blood moon is when the Earth blocks the Sun, turning the moon from a white orb to a deep red orb. The combinations of the three events – supermoon, blue moon and blood moon – was last witnessed on March 31, 1866. This phenomenon is termed as ‘Super Blue Blood Moon’.
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