Photo by Ed Wesely

The supermoon on January 1, 2018

Moon trifecta on Wednesday: supermoon + blue moon + eclipse

REGION — Wednesday, January 31 will mark an extremely uncommon event—one that happens, literally, less than once in a blue moon. It will indeed be a blue moon, that is, the second full moon of the month, in itself a rarity—hence the "once in a blue moon" saying. In addition, it will be a supermoon, which occurs whenever the moon is at perigee—the point where it comes closest to the earth and is about 14% brighter than usual. The first full moon of this month, on January, was also a supermoon.

The third piece of the trifecta is an eclipse, as the earth comes between the sun and the moon, casting its shadow over it. Unfortunately, the eclipse will be only partial in our area, and occur so shortly before moonset that it will be difficult to view. The shadow will start to move over the moon at 6:48; moonset occurs at 7:13 that morning, and the eclipse won't begin until 7:51 a.m..

The last time this threefold event occurred was in 1866.

 

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