On Wednesday, much of the world will be able to watch a blue moon, a supermoon and a blood moon, all at once. A blue moon is a term for a second full moon in a given month. There was a full month on the first of January so the second on the 31st will be the blue moon, even if the pigmentation doesn’t actually change.
It so happens that the full moon will also be a supermoon, which is to say that the full moon will be at perigee — its closest approach to Earth in a single orbit — making it appear slightly larger and brighter.
But wait! There is more! On Wednesday, there will also be a total lunar eclipse. As the shadow of the earth crosses the face of the moon it will turn it an orange or red, which is why a lunar eclipse is often called a blood moon.
So there you have it — a blue, super, blood moon. The last time the three events aligned was in 1982 and the next won’t occur until 2037.
“I’m calling it the Super Bowl of moons,” lunar scientist Noah Petro told the Washington Post on Monday from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
The eclipse will be visible best in the western half of the U.S. and Canada before the moon sets early Wednesday morning, and across the Pacific into Asia as the moon rises Wednesday night into Thursday.
The U.S. East Coast will be out of luck; the moon will be setting just as the eclipse gets started. Europe and most of Africa and South America also will pretty much miss the show.