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First Blue Moon And Total Lunar Eclipse in 150 Years!

lunar eclipse blue moon

The first total lunar eclipse of this year comes at the very end of the month, on January 31st.

It is going to be a total eclipse that will also involve the second Full Moon of the month, which is popularly referred to as a Blue Moon. Such kind of a sky-watching event has not happened for more than 150 years.

This eclipse will take place during the middle of the night. The Pacific Ocean is going to be turned toward the moon at the time. Central, as well as eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and most of Australia, will experience a real show in the sky.

Alaska, Hawaii and northwestern Canada will be able to watch the eclipse from the beginning to the very end. At the U.S. West Coast, the total phase of the eclipse will begin at 4:51 a.m. PST. In the U.S. Atlantic Seaboard, the moon will have only just started to enter the darkest part of the shadow of the Earth, the umbra, at 6:48 a.m. EST when it will disappear from the view that is below the west-northwest horizon. The duration of the total phase of the eclipse will be about 77 minutes. The moon will be tracking through the southern part of the shadow of the Earth. So, during totality, the lower limb of the moon will appear much brighter than the dark upper limb.

total lunar eclipse jan31 2018
This NASA chart by eclipse expert Fred Espenak details the visibility range and times for the Jan. 31, 218 total lunar eclipse, which also occurs during a blue moon and near a supermoon. Credit: NASA

After the appearance in this year, the next time when a Blue Moon will pass through the umbra of the Earth will be on December 31st, 2028, and after that on January 31st, 2037. Both of that eclipses will be total.

Before 2017, there was an 8% partial eclipse on December 31st, 2009, for a total eclipse of a Blue Moon, we will have to go all the way back to March 1866.

So, the eclipse which will be on January 31st will be the first total eclipse of a Blue Moon after 152 years.

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