Super Blue blood moon and total lunar eclipse on January 31: How to watch, timings for India and more

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On January 31, the world will witness a rare super blue blood moon, which is called so because it is coinciding with a total lunar eclipse and a blue moon. The rare celestial event, according to NASA is a lunar trifecta and those living in the US, Alaska and Hawaii will see a pre-dawn “super blue blood moon.” Residents in India will also be able to witness the super blue blood moon.  So what exactly is the Super blue blood moon phenomenon and what will be the timings for India? Also, why is this Super blue blood moon such a rare event? Here are all your questions about this rare phenomenon answered.

What is this Super blue blood moon?

Super moons occur when the full moon coincides with the Moon’s closest orbit point (perigee) to the planet. During a super moon, the Moon appears upto 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter, according to NASA. Remember most celestial bodies in our solar system have an elliptical orbit. These include the orbit of the Earth around the Sun, as well as the orbit of the Moon. The farthest distance between the moon and the Earth is termed ‘apogee’, while the perigee is the nearest point between planet Earth and its satellite.

The reason this January 31 event is a Super blue blood moon is because this will also be a total lunar eclipse, when the satellite has reddish tinge to it. It is also the second total lunar eclipse in the month of January 2018, and according to NASA, a second total lunar eclipse during a month is called ‘blue moon’. Thus the Super moon has become a “super blue blood moon.”

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