A space oddity will be occurring in Dexter’s western sky tomorrow morning.
Officially dubbed the “Super Blue Blood Moon”, this cosmic trifecta of a supermoon, a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse hasn’t occurred since 1982 and is visible in the United States for the first time in 150 years.
Tomorrow morning, January 31st, the second full moon in a calendar month will occur which is commonly called a “Blue Moon.” At the same time, the moon’s especially close proximity to earth is a phenomenon referred to as a “Supermoon”, which appears about seven percent larger and fourteen percent brighter than normal. This will be the third straight Supermoon – the December 2017 full moon and the two full moons in January 2018.
The third factor of this Superbowl of Moons is when the Super Blue Moon undergoes a total lunar eclipse which, when at its peak, the earth’s dark umbral shadow can create a reddish tint on the moon giving it the nickname “Blood Moon.” The red hue is created by the sun’s light being refracted through the earth’s atmosphere as it casts a shadow across the moon.
Lucky star-gazers in the Dexter area can view the phenomenon tomorrow morning beginning at 6:48 a.m. when the moon enters a partial eclipse. Total eclipse occurs at 7:52 a.m. with the reddish glow, but unfortunately for us the moon sets at 7:48 a.m. in our area.
So while we here in Dexter are enjoying a Super Blue Moon, probably without the Blood, friends and relatives on the West Coast will have a good look at the planetary triple crown. Maybe they’ll post a selfie for us.
The good news is another Super Blue Blood Moon is on its way … in 2037. Plenty of time to get ready.