One of the more exciting events of 2017 was the total solar eclipse that was viewable across the US. And if you enjoyed it as much as I did, I have some good news for you. While the US won't be getting another look at a total solar eclipse until 2024, parts of the US will get to see another rare eclipse in 2018 and they'll get to check it out this month.
On January 31st, there will be a total lunar eclipse. What makes this one so special is that it's happening during a Blue Moon, or the second full moon of the month (depending on which definition you go by). These two events haven't coincided since 1866, making this one the first in over 150 years. The next one won't be until 2028.
As Space.com reports, not everyone in the US will get to see it in full. Central and eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and parts of Australia will have a good view of the event. Alaska, Hawaii and northwest Canada will see the whole thing as well, but more eastern parts of North and Central America will have a shorter show. For example in US Mountain time (MST), the eclipse will begin at 4:48 AM, but as the full eclipse winds down, the moon will already be dipping below the horizon. For Eastern time (EST) in the US, residents in that region will see the eclipse begin at 6:48 AM and the moon will dip out of view shortly thereafter.
In other moon news, there's a supermoon tonight. The full moon will be the closest it gets to Earth in its orbit making it appear a little bit bigger and a little bit brighter than a typical full moon. Though you probably won't notice the difference with your bare eyes, you should still check it out. The sky is beautiful and looking up is a great way to start 2018.
Supermoons appear bigger and brighter than normal and the first one of 2018 arrives on New Year’s Day.
And, this one is nicknamed the “wolf moon.”
The supermoon is a nickname of its own, referring to a full moon that appears larger and more luminous because of its increased proximity to the Earth. The wolf moon refers to the first full moon of the new year, which so happens to fall on New Year’s Day this time around, according to NASA.
The second of a “supermoon trilogy” that began with a supermoon at the beginning of December, the New Year’s supermoon should look about 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual, the space agency reports. The final installment of the supermoon series will kick off on Jan. 31, which will be “extra special,” NASA says.
That’s because the Jan. 31 supermoon will coincide with a total lunar eclipse, which will give the moon a reddish glow because of the sunlight reflected by the atmosphere. Another nickname will come into play here, as totally eclipsed moons are sometimes called “blood moons.”
But that’s not the only label of Jan. 31’s moon — that full moon also happens to be the second full moon of the month, an event that is often referred to as a “blue moon.” This means the 31st’s supermoon will be a “super blue blood” moon, according to NASA.
It may seem like the Jan. 31 moon is the lunar spectacle to keep your eyes on, but don’t forget about the one on New Year’s Day — it could be a great way to commemorate the start of 2018.
“The supermoons are a great opportunity for people to start looking at the Moon, not just that once but every chance they have!” said Noah Petro, a research scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, according to the space agency.
When someone asks you to name a rare, precious gemstone, what springs to mind? If you're like most people, the answer is probably diamonds. But what makes diamonds so special? It may be because of all gemstones, diamonds take the longest to form, and travel the farthest to get to us. This inherently natural wonder has an incredible journey, far longer and more arduous than any other gemstone.