The end of this month will see one of the moon’s most beautiful nights. The second super moon of the month is coming on January 31st, making it a blue super moon. It will be a blood moon, a Supermoon and a total lunar eclipse – all on one night. Some people including NASA are referring to it as a super blue blood moon, and whatever you call it, it will make for a beautiful sight.
Nasa is advising people to make sure they catch it s this has not happened in 150 years.
You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase, “once in a blue moon’. Well, a blue moon occurs about once every two and a half years. A super moon occurs when the moon appears bigger and brighter in the sky when it becomes full on the same day that it reaches its perigree, the point in the moon’s elliptical orbit when closest to Earth. During a super moon, the moon generally appears to be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than a typical full moon occurring approximately every 13 months, according to NASA.
What exactly is a Super moon?
It just means the moon looks a bit bigger than usual since its a bit closer to the Earth than usual. “Because the orbit of the moon is not a perfect circle, the moon is sometimes closer to the Earth than at other times during its orbit,” says NASA.
As NASA explains, because the Moon has an elliptical orbit, one side – called the perigee – is about 48,280 km (30,000 miles) closer to Earth than the other side (the apogee). When the Sun, the Moon, and Earth line up as the Moon orbits Earth, that’s known as syzygy.
When this Earth-Moon-Sun system occurs with the perigee side of the Moon facing us, and the Moon happens to be on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun, we get what’s called a perigee-syzygy. That causes the Moon to appear much bigger and brighter in our sky than usual, and it’s referred to as a super moon.
Please remember that all full moons bring larger-than-usual tides, and perigee full moons bring the highest (and lowest) tides of all. Each month, on the day of the full moon, the moon, Earth and sun are aligned, with Earth in between. This line up creates wide-ranging tides, known as spring or king tides. These tides climb up especially high, and on the same day low tides plunge especially low.