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Moon Space Science

How To Watch the 'Super Blue Blood Moon' Lunar Eclipse (livescience.com) 90

Stephanie Pappas reports via Live Science how you can watch Wednesday's "Super Blue Blood Moon" eclipse: The eclipse will occur in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday, Jan. 31, when the full moon will pass through the Earth's shadow. Viewers on Earth will see the face of the moon turn a murky red. On the West Coast, totality (the full shading of the moon) will occur at 4:51 a.m. PST until 6:08 a.m. PST. Before that, the moon will enter the outer portion of the Earth's shadow, or penumbra, at 2:51 a.m. PST. The real show will become visible starting at 3:48 a.m. PST, when the moon will be entering the umbra, or central portion of Earth's shadow, and a dark shadow will move over the face of the moon. The moon will leave the umbra at 7:11 a.m. PST. East Coasters can catch the partial lunar eclipse before dawn, but they will miss totality because the moon will have set below the horizon by 7:06 a.m. EST. To see the shadow of the Earth become visible on the moon's face, look up at 6:31 a.m. EST; by 6:48 a.m. EST, the moon will be entering the umbra, or central portion of the shadow, which should make the color change more apparent.

For viewers in the Central and Mountain time zones, the moon will set either during the total eclipse or while the satellite is exiting the Earth's shadow. The moon enters the dark umbra at about 5:48 a.m. CST and will hit totality slightly before moonset, at 6:51 a.m. CST. The umbra will appear at 4:48 a.m. MST, and the moon will enter totality at 5:51 a.m. MST. Viewers in the Mountain time zone will also get the chance to see the middle of totality, when the moon is up to 100,000 times fainter than usual, at 6:29 a.m. The eclipse will end slightly before moonset, at 7:07 a.m. MST. Viewers in Alaska and Hawaii will get a full dose of totality, too, but they'll have to be very early birds or night owls. Totality begins at 3:51 a.m. AKST and ends at 5:05 a.m. AKST. Totality hits at 2:51 a.m. HST and will be over by 4:05 a.m. HST.

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How To Watch the 'Super Blue Blood Moon' Lunar Eclipse

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  • Visit Amazon to get your Lunar Eclipse glasses before they are all sold out!
  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @03:10AM (#56038453)

    The summary is all about when, but what we desperately want to know is How? Do I use my eyes?

    • Yes, your eyes. Ans maybe binoculars, if you have them.
    • Step 1: Drive somewhere without cloud cover.

      Step 2: Realize you no longer have a job due to mandatory meetings today.

      Step 3: Sigh

      • Step 1: Drive somewhere without cloud cover.

        Step 2: Realize you no longer have a job due to mandatory meetings today.

        Step 3: Sigh

        Meetings are easily moved. However since I am currently in the Netherlands it's that "somewhere without cloud" that is woefully impractical :)

        • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

          TGV train to Germany doesn't seem that impractical?

          • TGV train to Germany doesn't seem that impractical?

            What are you talking about? Walking to France just to catch a train to Germany is hugely impractical. ;-)

            • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

              What are you talking about?

              High-speed trains. TGV operator Thalys for example links the Netherlands and Germany.

              • What are you talking about?

                High-speed trains. TGV operator Thalys for example links the Netherlands and Germany.

                Just to be pedantic there's no Thalys link between the Netherlands and Germany. There's a link between the Netherlands and Belgium, and one between Belgium and Germany, but really we're back to that being hugely impractical compared to just getting a DB operated ICE train directly over there, even taking the wonderful speed and service of the Thalys into account :-) ... Not that Germany has any less cloud today.

        • Step 1: Drive somewhere without cloud cover.

          Step 2: Realize you no longer have a job due to mandatory meetings today.

          Step 3: Sigh

          Meetings are easily moved. However since I am currently in the Netherlands it's that "somewhere without cloud" that is woefully impractical :)

          We have lake effect snow creating cloud cover anywhere within a 4 hour or so drive which kind of impacts the practicality of relocating here too.

        • Meetings are easily moved. However since I am currently in the Netherlands it's that "somewhere without cloud" that is woefully impractical :)

          You also need "somewhere without daylight", which is even more impractical.

  • by Jody Bruchon ( 3404363 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @03:20AM (#56038473)
    Now the ten Slashdot readers remaining get to wake up and find out they missed it.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @03:29AM (#56038491)

    1) Go outside
    2) Look up
    3) If you see the ceiling, you forgot to follow step #1
    4) Look at moon

    Remember, the solar eclipse was just a few months ago... so your eclipse glasses are still good, as long as they're not damaged.

  • Super blue blood, that must mean it is part of the royal family.
  • .... though we won't get the full effect.

    https://www.walesonline.co.uk/... [walesonline.co.uk]

  • by imidan ( 559239 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @04:56AM (#56038657)

    What's the deal with all the stories about the moon in recent months? Blue moons, super moons... a blue moon is a second full moon in a calendar month. Other than the arbitrary coincidence of the lunar cycle going from full moon to full moon within a named period of time, there's absolutely nothing interesting or unique about it.

    The "super moon" is apparently a full moon near the moon's perigee appearing "up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual." I guess that could be interesting, maybe to photographers? I don't personally notice that much difference. Maybe if I could see the super moon and the regular moon side-by-side in the sky...

    Last year there was a news story about the "strawberry moon" which is apparently a name for a full moon that happens in June. Since the lunar cycle is about 29.5 days, and June is 30 days long, there is necessarily a full moon in June every year.

    I don't want to shit on "science" things that are fun and interesting, but I mean... does the appearance of the moon qualify? What is this about? I don't remember these articles always popping up when I was a kid.

    • It's just that astrology and arbitrary meaning (dumbness) in general have been on a steady rise for the past 40 odd years.
    • Stories are here to annoy Neil deGrasse Tyson. That's all.

    • Only 7% bigger than 'normal'. Put it close to the horizon and it will look bigger.
      • ...for strictly psychological reasons. Atmospheric refraction magnifies it a tiny bit, but that's below the threshold of detection for your eyes. The illusion of increased size is related to the presence of other objects in your field of view.

        OTOH, refraction does alter its observed position: when it appears to be sitting on the horizon, it's entirely below the horizon in a geometric sense.

    • Each individually are not that interesting. However.

      A blue moon, super moon and blood moon all coinciding on the same day is a truly rare event. Last time that happened was 156 years ago. We won't live to see it happen again.

      But otherwise yes the star of the event is the full lunar eclipse which happens frequently enough.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        A blue moon, super moon and blood moon all coinciding on the same day is a truly rare event. Last time that happened was 156 years ago. We won't live to see it happen again.

        You may not, but a lot of people will. It's predicted to be in 2030-something where it will happen again.

    • The Moon. I was at a dark sky location at 6000 ft above sea level and could read a newspaper by the light from the moon. It was super.
  • Here is a nice time lapse video of the "super moon" eclipse of 2015 in case you are interested: https://youtu.be/2HHz7CVMPx4 [youtu.be] . It was not a "blue moon" but that term does not refer to a physical difference, just that there are two full moons in the month.

  • Total lunar eclipses during blue moons occurred over Australia on December 30, 1982 and December 30, 1963. But, thanks to time zone differences, these were not blue moons in North America. Both these eclipses would have been "super moons". Not a blue moon in NZ it will Feb1
    • by jaa101 ( 627731 )

      Total lunar eclipses during blue moons occurred over Australia on December 30, 1982 and December 30, 1963.

      Most people in Australia don't see a blue moon eclipse this year either because the populous states are on summer time (UTC+11) so it's on February for us too.

      South Australia is the weirdest with their UTC+10:30 timezone. For them, the full moon is in January (with only 3 minutes to spare) and so it is blue but the eclipse is in February.

    • who cares, there is nothing special about a blue moon, it looks exactly like any other full moon

  • by Anonymous Coward

    https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2018-january-31

    You can enter your location on this webpage, lots of detailed information given.

    Moon will go darker than normal, so no need to wear eclipse glasses unless you want to try out partial sight emulation.

  • Seriously? Not one mention of the rest of the world? This is not a local event, you know, it's a global space event. People in other countries just might be interested, too.

    Yes, /. is an american site yada yada yada. I don't care that most of the political and tech topics are focussed on US politics and business - but for a clearly global event, editors could spend 30 seconds to look up the appropriate times at least for rough areas ("Europe", "Asia").

    • Seriously? Not one mention of the rest of the world? This is not a local event, you know, it's a global space event.

      I hope you're joking. You do understand that the moon is only visible from half the Earth's surface at any given time? If the moon will be setting during the eclipse for the eastern half of the US, why would you expect it to be visible in Europe at all?

      What I don't understand is why they bothered with all the timezone nonsense. Why not just give the times in UTC and let readers figure it out? (Hint: if it works out such that the lunar eclipse is happening during the daytime, you won't be able to see it

      • by Tom ( 822 )

        I hope you're joking. You do understand that the moon is only visible from half the Earth's surface at any given time?

        Noooooo! Reallllyyy???

        If the moon will be setting during the eclipse for the eastern half of the US, why would you expect it to be visible in Europe at all?

        You think I bother much with orbital geometry when I read /. summaries? A single sentence ("visible in the north and south Americas only") would've done half the world a favour. I don't ask much, but if your audience is global, adding one sentence for half of them is something you can do, right?

    • by Tomahawk ( 1343 )

      Yeah, the total eclipse isn't visible at all to most of us Europeans, unfortunately. (It'll be visible in Eastern Europe, a little bit, at sunset, but the totality will be over by then).

      Nasa always post some good info about eclipses: https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/... [nasa.gov]
      (Note: All times are in UTC)

  • Link, Link, be on your guard. Ganon's power grows... It rises to its peak under the hour of the Blood Moon. By its glow, the aimless spirits of monsters that were slain in the name of the light return to flesh. Link, please be careful.

  • Kids!! Remember that ordinary sunglasses are NOT recommended for this eclipse.

  • I haven't seen any "end of the world" comments on the interwebs.

    Like, this is a major cosmic coincidence - Blue moon, Blood moon, "Super" moon, AND total lunar eclipse, all at the same time. And not a peep from our doomsday end-of-the-world friends. (I miss them already).

    What are they waiting for - super blue blood moon eclipse solar-nova day, or something?!

  • Isn't it a bit late to post that? I'm betting most of us are reading this on wednesday morning, after said lunar eclipse has happened.

  • Just do the same thing I do. Look up at the sky and curse those damn clouds that are always there during every single astronomical event I want to watch.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    It was nice reading this at 9 AM today. Why wasn't this posted earlier yesterday?
  • 1. Go outside
    2. Look up
    3. You will see the moon, unless it is very cloudy

    You do know what "outside" is, right?

  • That is to say, I toyed with the notion of waking up in the middle of the night to go watch a SHADOW... but I decided the insides of my eyelids were FAR more interesting, and so I watched them instead. I can watch a shadow nearly any time I want... between all the crap going on in the world, and all the crap going on in the world besides the previously mentioned crap going on in the world, I have enough trouble sleeping as is, and I’m not, therefore, going to lose out on precious sleep to look at a s
  • From an astronomy point of view, it was the eclipse that was interesting.

    The blue moon is nothing but a calendar thing, and has no scientific meaning.

    The super moon is indeed larger, but not to the naked eye.

    The blood moon is just an atmospheric phenomenon, and happens regularly.

    It is the eclipse that was significant for an astronomy fan, rather than pop culture or astrology.

    Anyways, if you were clouded out, or did not wake up early, here is where you can watch the eclipse [youtu.be] as it was streamed.

  • Having been in the path of totality for a total solar eclipse last year, lunar eclipses just don't stack up. Still neat to see, but probably not even worth getting up early for.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN

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