A once in a blue moon spectacle

"For the (continental) USA, the viewing will be best in the West", said Gordon Johnston, program executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Normally, a blue moon happens in every two years and eight months and this one is third in a series of super moons which happen when the moon is closest to Earth in its orbit.

Stages of the January 31, 2018 "super blue blood moon" (weather permitting) are depicted in Pacific Time with "moonset" times for major cities across the US, which affect how much of the event viewers will see.

While the Earth revolves around the sun, the moon revolves around the Earth.

The super blood moon will be visible on January 31st, 2018.

Some people are calling this another "Super Moon" however it will be 27 hours past perigee, (the closest distance from Earth).

It will be worth a look, as it has been nearly seven years since a full moon has entered as deeply into the umbral shadow as this one will.

What is going to make this special is going super blue moon.

"We are glad to help children in case they need any equipment to see the celestial event", said N. Raghunandan Kumar. The last time the three elements combined at the same time was in 1866.

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And several times each year, the sun, Earth and moon line up in a straight line.

With the moon setting, make sure you have a non-obstructed view of the western sky. Pacific Time, although the shadow will start appearing on the moon at approximately 3:48 a.m.

"It disappears and then actually comes back and then disappears again", he said.

The best viewing will be on the West Coast, Hawaii and Alaska.

Americans in the east are advised to head outside to a high place at 6.45am ET, while those in the mid-west will have the best viewing at 6.15am-6.30am CST time.

There's only going to be a brief window to observe the total lunar eclipse because the moon will being setting shortly after 7 a.m.

The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California, will live stream the eclipse beginning 5:45 a.m. (1045 GMT) until 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT).

For observers living in NY or Washington D.C., the space agency suggests a 6.45 a.m. ET start for the best viewing.

The total eclipse will follow at 11.51pm and end at 1.07am. Since the total eclipse happens right at moonset, it may be hard for people in western Kentucky to see it. You'll have another chance to see a total lunar eclipse on January 21, 2019, which should be visible across the U.S.

  • Douglas Reid