BLUE MOON

First News - - Science News - by Ed­die de Oliveira

IN the pic­ture above, a pas­sen­ger plane in flight is sil­hou­et­ted against a ‘su­per blue blood moon’ over the city of Cali, Colom­bia last week.

The event was a rare phe­nom­e­non that com­bined three un­usual el­e­ments: a blue moon, a su­per moon and a to­tal eclipse. The last time these three things hap­pened at the same time was in 1866!

So what do they each mean? A blue moon is the sec­ond full moon in a cal­en­dar month. A su­per moon is when the moon is at perigee (its clos­est dis­tance to Earth) and much brighter than usual. And a blood moon is the name given to the ex­act mo­ment dur­ing a lu­nar eclipse when the moon ap­pears to turn red. A lu­nar eclipse oc­curs when the moon passes within planet Earth’s um­bra (shadow).

This eclipse, which lasted about an hour and a quar­ter, was not vis­i­ble in the UK, but could be seen in most of Aus­tralia, New Zealand, cen­tral and east­ern Asia, In­done­sia and the Amer­i­cas.

The next vis­i­ble lu­nar eclipse in the UK will be on 27 July this year.

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