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Mark your calendar. On January 31st, Birmingham and Earth will be experiencing a Super Blue Blood Moon.
Its the lunar trifecta.
- A Supermoon happens when a full moon is at its closest point in orbit to Earth (also known as perigee). The moon will be 14% brighter than usual, hence the name supermoon..
- A blue moon is the name given to a second full moon within a calendar month. We had a full moon on New Year’s Day.
- The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.” Unfortunately, in Alabama, we will experience only a partial lunar eclipse.
Directions from NASA on how to see the Super Blue Blood Moon
Even though we are not expected to get the lunar totality experience, what makes Birmingham’s experience special will be seeing the “setting” supermoon at daybreak.
Here is how NASA describes how to view the Super Blue Blood Moon for the Central Time Zone.
If you live in the Central time zone, viewing will be better, since the action begins when the Moon is higher in the western sky. At 4:51 a.m. CST the penumbra — or lighter part of Earth’s shadow – will touch the Moon. By about 6:15 a.m. CST the Earth’s reddish shadow will be clearly noticeable on the Moon. The eclipse will be harder to see in the lightening pre-dawn sky, and the Moon will set after 7:00 a.m. as the Sun rises. “So if you live in Kansas City or Chicago, your best viewing will be from about 6:15-6:30 a.m,” said Johnston. “Again, you’ll have more success if you can go to a high place with a clear view to the West.”
Scouting for views and the weather forecast in Birmingham
The key ingredients will be a high place with clear view to the West and of course the weather. In Birmingham, we suggest scouting places along Red Mountain, Oak Mountain and Shades Mountain. If you know someone who works in one of the skyscrapers or condos downtown, now might be a good time to put in an early morning request to a friend or business colleague.
Weather-wise, as of today, the long range forecast for Birmingham looks good for January 31st, with sunny skies predicted.
If you just can’t get up early in the morning or the weather turns for the worse, NASA will be live streaming the event – HERE.
We’ve all heard the old adage, once in a blue moon. On January 31st you can live it.
Send Bham Now your favorite photos of the Super Blue Blood Moon 2018 to firstname.lastname@example.org