The Super Blue Blood Moon of January 2018

This January 31, three lunar phenomena converge in an event that hasn't occurred in over 150 years
Super blue blood moon of January 31, 2018 - Photo: Yadín Xolalpa/EL UNIVERSAL
30/01/2018
15:52
Newsroom
Mexico City
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*Updated January 31, 2018

This January 31, three lunar phenomena converged in an event that hasn't occurred in 152 years: a supermoon, a blue moon, and a total lunar eclipse. This lunar trifecta is known as a “super blue blood moon”.

A supermoon occurs when the Moon orbits closest to the earth – also known as the Moon's perigee – and shines approximately 14% brighter than usual, according to the NASA.

A blue moon is a name given to the second full moon of a 31-day month that had a full moon at the beginning, according to Julieta Fierro, a researcher at the Astronomy Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

“A lunar phase has 30 days, that is why the second full moon of a month is called a 'blue moon', despite it not glowing blue.”

And to add to this spectacle, this blue moon will pass through the Earth's shadow – a total lunar eclipse – which will cause it to take on a reddish tint in a phenomenon commonly called “blood moon”.

Although the super blue blood moon wasn't fully visible in Mexico, archeologists and astronomers went to the archeological site of Tula, Hidalgo, to observe and register this astronomical phenomenon which wasn't seen since March 31, 1866.

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(Super blue blood moon of January 31, 2018 - Photo: Yadín Xolalpa)

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(Super blue blood moon of January 31, 2018 - Photo: Yadín Xolalpa)

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