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'Super, Blue Blood Moon' Will Leave Spectators in Awe on January 31

Representational Image only. Source Wikimedia Commons

The term "blue moon" refers to the second full moon in a single month. The umbral eclipse begins at 3:48 a.m. PST.

January 31's supermoon, according to NASA, will also feature a total lunar eclipse in parts of the country - when the Earth, sun and moon, line up in such a way that the Earth blocks the sunlight that would otherwise reflect off the moon. While covered by the Earth's shadow during a lunar eclipse, the moon reflects refracted sunlight that makes the surface appear burnt red in the Earth's sky.

"Weather permitting, the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii will have a spectacular view of totality from start to finish", Gordon Johnston, program executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters, said in a statement.

Like the Earth, half the moon is illuminated by the sun at any one time.

But we have good news for everyone hoping to catch the blood moon 2018: The super blue blood moon can be seen from anywhere as long as it's nighttime.

This supermoon, which is the first blue moon of 2018, marks the last in a trilogy of supermoons.

Representational Image only. Source Pixabay
Representational Image only. Source Pixabay

In India, the partial shadow on the Moon would be seen at 4.21 pm, while the complete lunar eclipse would be visible at 6.21 pm. This is also called a "harvest moon" which isn't a true lunar eclipse but shifts red because of changing seasons. If things are just right, the moon passes through that shadow.

Total lunar eclipses only happen during a full moon, a phase in the moon's cycle when it is completely visible from Earth. "The eclipse begins at 5:51 a.m. ET, as the Moon is about to set in the western sky, and the sky is getting lighter in the east". By about 6:15 a.m. CST the Earth's reddish shadow will be clearly noticeable on the moon.

Here in Miami, we'll only be able to view a partial super blue moon eclipse because the time of totality coincides with sunrise.

To see the phenomenon, you need to be on the night side of the Earth; in Asia, Australia, the Pacific and North America. It is a total lunar eclipse often colored red thanks to light scattering through atmospheric dust, but it's also the subject of stories, speculation and superstitions - take your pick.

Mythology - Cultures from all over the world have different explanations for lunar eclipses, according to National Geographic.

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