DISCUSSION: On January 31, 2018, the next total lunar eclipse is expected to occur. This has significance because this comes at a time when the moon will be “super” and “blue” (particularly for parts of Asia and the Pacific Rim).
A “supermoon” is when there is a full moon and is closest to Earth in its elliptical orbit, giving it a larger and brighter appearance than normal. A “blue moon” refers to when two full moons occur in a single month. At the time of a total lunar eclipse, the Earth casts its shadow over the moon. However, the moon will still be visible because of light refracted through the Earth’s atmosphere, giving it a reddish color. People in places like Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates are excited since the countries lie in optimal viewing locations, and this package of lunar phenomena hasn’t occurred since the early 1900s. Other lucky viewing locations include the Philippines, New Zealand, Russia, Japan, China, Korea, Mongolia, and most of Australia and Indonesia.
Those in North America may still be able to salvage from the eclipse. Areas west of the Mississippi have the best chance of viewing at least a partial eclipse. The areas that have the best chance of viewing a total eclipse include Hawaii, Alaska, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, most of British Columbia, parts of Nunavut and northwest Washington.
Unfortunately for the rest of those not in a location to view the cosmic show, they must wait until January 20, 2019 for the next total lunar eclipse.
Click here to learn more about January’s Total Lunar Eclipse.
To learn more about space-weather related stories, click here!
©2018 Meteorologist Nicholas Quaglieri