Jenna Ladd | January 31, 2018
People around the U.S. observed a very rare phenomenon in the Earth’s skies this morning. Well, actually, three phenomenon.
A super blue blood moon was easily seen by people in the Midwest between about 6 am and 8 am. Even if you did wake early enough to see this peculiar lunar event, you may be wondering what all this moon talk means. Let’s start with the word “super.” Super moons are when the moon appears especially large in the night sky, owing to the fact that it is at its closet point to earth. During this time, the moon can appear to be 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger. “Blue moon” is simply another name for the second full moon within a calendar month.
And “blood moon?” This name refers to the reddish color that the moon has when there is a total lunar eclipse, or the moon passes through Earth’s shadow and all of the sun’s light is blocked from illuminating it.
The total lunar eclipse began giving the moon a reddish tint at around 6:51 am and was no longer visible by 8:07 am in Des Moines. Those in the western part of the country were able to enjoy the eclipse for longer, as the moon remained above the horizon for more time. People in the eastern U.S. did not get to see the event, as the moon went below the horizon before it began in that part of the country.
Did you forget to look up this morning? Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until January 31, 2037 to see these three characteristics all in one moon.