So a pretty cool astronomical event is coming up at the end of the Month on the morning of January 31st(remember 12am-sunrise). Except we won’t get to see the full show here in the Carolinas. Even so, we get to look at a rare Blue Supermoon which is the second full moon in a calendar month, and the super part is because the moon is closer to the Earth in its orbit around our planet. While lots of people use the Supermoon term, it’s scientific name is perigee. That part really is kinda lame, if I honestly didn’t tell you you’d have no idea just looking at the moon, there was anything super about it. For comparisons here is the difference between the farthest full moon and closest full moon in orbit.
The Blue moon part is when we get the second full moon in the same calendar month. Though there are 2 definitions. In this case, the 1st part works not the second which is the 3rd full moon in a season.
Two Definitions of Blue Moon
- Seasonal Blue Moon = The third Full Moon in an astronomical season with four Full Moons (versus the usual three).
- Monthly Blue Moon = The second Full Moon in a month with two Full Moons.
Lunar Eclipse Part:
It’s a full lunar eclipse on top of being a Blue Super Moon. The only problem we won’t see it all because the moon will set in the middle of the Eclipse. We still get a little bit of the show but fair warning this is going to be low on the horizon and hard to see if you have lots of trees or buildings in the way. Here’s how the whole thing will look in Charlotte. The chart below shows the times; now we just need clear skies!
Here’s a look at how the rest of the world will view the Lunar Eclipse.