NORTHERN HEMISPHERE — It’s a trifecta in the sky as the full moon appearing tonight and tomorrow is three times more amazing than usual. The moon, especially bright, will reach its peak just before 5:30 a.m. PST on Wednesday, Jan. 31, followed by a total lunar eclipse.
“For the continental U.S., the viewing will be best in the West,” says Gordon Johnston, program executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Set your alarm early and go out and take a look.”
This is the third in a series of three supermoons, when the moon is closer to our planet in its orbit, and much brighter than usual. As the second moon in one month, it’s also a blue moon. And, the super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow for a total lunar eclipse. According to NASA such an event hasn’t occurred simultaneously since 1866.
During the eclipse, the shadow may cast a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.”
“Californians and viewers in western Canada will be treated to the total eclipse phase from start to finish, though the penumbral shadow will pass after the Moon has set.” according to NASA. “The umbral eclipse begins at 3:48 a.m. Pacific Time. At 4:51 a.m., totality will begin, with best viewing between about 5 and 6 a.m. local time. The totality phase ends about 6:05 a.m.”
While some fog is expected in the Central Valley, chances are good right now that we in the foothills will be able to observe this rare phenomenon. Happy howling!