You'll want to set your alarm clock pretty early on Wednesday, or stay up really late on the West Coast, because January 31st will give us a super blue blood moon. No, it's not "blueblood," a term meaning royalty, but a lunar trifecta. A "supermoon" is one that's closer to the earth than usual, meaning it will look a little bit larger. A "blue moon," like the song, is the second full moon of the month (this one barely squeezes in for January), and a "blood moon" means an eclipse, which is the really neat part. The total eclipse can be seen from Asia and Australia, and the US will see a partial eclipse. That will make the moon appear red, so that's why it's called a blood moon.
Here’s the deal: On the West Coast, the eclipse will start at 3:48am and the totality of the eclipse will wrap up around 6am. Yes, friends, this is an AM viewing opportunity — set your alarms. In Mountain Time, it’ll start at 4:48, but Central and Eastern it’s a little trickier. You’ll need to be somewhere fairly high up at 5:48 or 6:48 respectively to see the whole thing unfold, and you’ll need to move quickly, as the moon sets around 6am and 7am, respectively.
See more tips on viewing and photographing the super blue blood moon at Uproxx. For more about the science of the super blue blood moon, we turn to Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer.
What's funny also is that February has 28 days this year, so it won't have a full Moon in it at all! We have a full Moon the day before February 1, and the next one on March 1, the day after February 28. The nickname for this event is black Moon (though the term has other meanings as well). This happens roughly every 20 years or so.
He's got a lot more to tell us about the lunar trifecta at SyFy Wire's Bad Astronomy.
(Image credit: NASA)