Three lunar phenomena to occur simultaneously on January 31

Blood Moon 2015 Stunning Images of'First Total Lunar Eclipse

It will be the first time "people in Taiwan can experience a blood moon, a supermoon, a blue moon and a black moon in one package" since such astronomical events were last recorded in 1800, museum researcher Chang Kuei-lan (張桂蘭) said, adding that the next time this will occur is January 31, 2037.

The moon on January 31 is being referred to as a blood moon because of the lunar eclipse - this is because a fully eclipsed moon often appears reddish in color.

A supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with the point in orbit in which the moon is closest to Earth.

While the moon is in the earth's shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a "blood moon", Gordon Johnston, programme executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters in Washington, NASA said in a statement.

A blue moon occurs when there are two full moons in the same calendar month. Those living in the East Coast would get the least impressive view. What's more, a supermoon will start off the chain of rarities the night of January 30. Eclipse watchers in western North America will see this occur at 6:08 a.m. PST (7:08 a.m. MST), not long before the moon sets.

You can see where the eclipse will be visible in the graphic below. As the Earth moves between the sun and the moon, it casts a shadow, also called an umbra. During a total lunar eclipse, sunlight that is refracted, or bent, around Earth and onto the Moon will give the Moon an orange or red color.

This NASA chart shows the lunar eclipse times for the US.




A lunar eclipse takes place only on a full moon.

The last time a total lunar eclipse coincided with a blue moon in Taiwan was on December 30, 1982, the museum said.

A blood moon will happen on the same night. "Again, you'll have more success if you can go to a high place with a clear view to the West". "Before that an awareness class will be held with an astrophysicist from 4 pm onwards, then after a tea break, the sky observation will begin and the visitors can enjoy the moon after sunset", he said.

The next lunar eclipse observable in Hong Kong will occur on July 28, which will also be a total lunar eclipse.

"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.

If you miss the January 31 lunar eclipse, you'll have to wait nearly another year for the next opportunity in North America.

Much like the term supermoon, blood moon is another perverse term of recent origins.

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