Early Birds May View Lunar Eclipse

Early Birds May View Lunar Eclipse”

Host of London Morning, Julianne Hazlewood, spoke with Andrew Fazekas, a science journalist who's also known as the Night Sky Guy, about what to expect.

On Wednesday morning, early risers will be treated to a lunar eclipse as the moon passes through the Earth's shadow.

That's because the moon's orbit is elliptical, furthest away at apogee, closest to earth at perigee. When that happens the Moon can be up to 14 per cent larger than average and 30 per cent brighter. "The moon won't actually be blue, and the origin of the name is a bit of a mystery".

It is also a "blue moon," which is the second full moon that happens in the same calendar month. Although it will be a supermoon, it will not be a blue moon.

A supermoon is when the moon is the closest it will ever be to earth. "On the 31st, we're going to have that attractive lineup where the moon moves into the Earth's shadow". The totality phase of the eclipse will start on the live stream around 7:50 a.m. When it reaches the earth's shadow, some of that sunlight will leak through the atmosphere. Instead, we will get a brief view of the partial lunar eclipse. At that point the moon will hang just below the western horizon.

Around 5:50 a.m. on Wednesday, the color of the moon will begin to change. It's a big, attractive normal colored moon throughout the night.

Truly a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical phenomenon, you won't want to miss this. The streams will already be running before the lunar eclipse coverage begins, but they should both switch to lunar eclipse programming at 5:30 a.m.

But it seems unlikely the weather will co-operate, as there will be increasing cloudiness near midnight Wednesday, and then snow.

How rare is this supermoon? But some reports say that this was only a Blue Moon for parts of the world and not others, and that an SBBM was last visible in North America on 31 March 1866. That's when three celestial events happen all at the same time.

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