‘Super Blue Blood Moon’ a rarity
WEATHER WILL HAVE FINAL SAY IN VIEWING LUNAR SPECTACLE
A “Super Blue Blood Moon” will greet early rising sky gazers in the wee morning hours Wednesday — that is, if the forecasted windy, cloudy and possibly even snowy weather doesn’t ruin the show.
Wednesday’s full moon features a trio of noteworthy phenomena. Being the second full moon of January makes what is commonly known as a blue moon. The moon is also on the closer end of its elliptical orbit around the Earth making it a super moon. And to top it off, this all happens under the Earth’s shadow for a red-tinted total lunar eclipse, sometimes known as a blood moon.
All three events occur with some regularity individually, however, to happen simultaneously is a relatively rare event, reportedly last visible from North America in 1866.
The chance to see the celestial display, despite the forecast, has some members of the Lethbridge Astronomy Society planning on heading down to the Popson Park observatory to capture the event.
“They are going to camp here overnight probably and hope that they can do a time-lapse video,” said society president Bob Orth.
While the society has held public viewings for such events in the past, Orth said the early morning hour didn’t make it practical to do it this time.
““People can view it fine from their backyards,” said Orth. “To get a good view, a pair of binoculars will be all anyone needs.”
And, unlike last year’s solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse doesn’t require any special eye protection, just an alarm clock.
The partial phase of the eclipse begins at 4:48 a.m. with the total eclipse lasting from 5:51 to 7:07 a.m. before the final partial eclipse phase ends at 8:11 a.m. around the same time as the moon sets below the northwest horizon.
The local skywatchers remain hopeful even if the weather outlook isn’t looking great.
“Could be a bit of luck,” said Orth. “If there’s a bit of wind and then even when it’s cloudy sometimes the cloud zips away and you can see something.”
For more information on the eclipse visit www.nasa.gov or for info on the Lethbridge Astronomy Society visit
The nearly full moon peeks from between the metal girders of the High Level Bridge Monday evening in the river bottom. Early Wednesday morning will see a rare convergence of three lunar phenomena being called a Super Blue Blood Moon. @IMartensHerald