Moon: Super, Blood, and Blue
3 weeks ago Shruti Goel 0
In Asia, a rare event happening after 35 years has kept the internet abuzz from the beginning of the year 2018. Today, on 31st January, a rare lunar event is all set to take place. A Super Moon, Blue Moon, and a total lunar eclipse will be seen on the evening as the sun sets.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon falls behind the earth into its shadow (called the Earth’s Umbra). This happens when the earth, the sun, and the moon are aligned exactly such that the earth lies in the middle. A lunar eclipse occurs only on the night of a full moon. In the total lunar eclipse, the light of the sun is completely blocked by the earth’s shadow.
Blood Moon or Copper Moon
The sun, the earth, and the moon get perfectly aligned. The earth in the middle of the moon and the sun blocks the sunlight, thus causing the light to be refracted by the shadow of its shadow. The light which is then visible appears to be the light which is refracted, breaking down into the constituent colours of the original light. The red part of this light gets scattered by the atmosphere and falls on the surface of the moon. Due to this reason, the Moon appears to be red. It turns into a dark reddish or copper colour. For this very reason, a totally eclipsed Moon has always been known as a Blood Moon or a Copper Moon.
This full Moon happens to occur about twice in a calendar month. Historically, the second full Moon of a common calendar is known as a Blue Moon. Although having this name, but this phrase has nothing to do with the actual colour of the moon. The moon does not appear to be blue in colour unless due to otherwise atmospheric conditions. It is traditionally termed as an extra full Moon, where a year has 13 full moons instead of 12.
This year, the last full moon was on 2nd January 2018 and the now the next one on 31st January 2018 which is termed as a Blue Moon.
It is either a full moon or a new moon which reaches its closest distance mark to the earth in its elliptical orbit. It seems to be quite larger than a usual size of the lunar disk when viewed from the earth. Due to larger in size and closest to the earth, it is termed as a Super Moon.
This rare lunar event of the all the three moons combined will be seen in Asia on 31st January. In India, the eclipse will begin approximately 17:18 IST. It will be at its peak at 18:21 hours and will remain totally eclipsed till 19:37. The eclipse will remain for about 1 hour and 16 minutes. The will slowly come out of the shadow of the earth resulting in partial eclipse ending around 20:41 hours. People who are super excited to see it, and to all the sky-enthusiasts out there, it can be easily seen through the naked eye.