If you live in North America, Alaska, or Hawaii, the super moon will be visible before dawn on Jan. 31. For those in the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand, the “super blue blood moon” can be seen amid moon rise in the morning on the 31st.
“For the (continental) U.S., the viewing will be best in the West,” said Gordon Johnston, program executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Set your alarm early and go out and take a look.”
The Blue Moon – second of two full moons in one calendar month –will pass through the Earth’s shadow on January 31, 2018, to give us an aggregate lunar eclipse. Totality, when the moon will be altogether inside the Earth’s dark umbral shadow, will last more than one-and-a-quarter hours.
The January 31 full moon is additionally the third in a series of three straight full moon super moons –that is, super-close full moons. It’s the first of two Blue Moons in 2018. So it’s not only a lunar overshadowing, or a Blue Moon, or a super moon. It’s each of the three … a super Blue Moon eclipse!
“Climate allowing, the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii will have a stupendous perspective of totality from start to finish,” said Johnston. “Unfortunately, eclipse viewing will be more challenging in the Eastern time zone.The eclipse starts at 5:51 AM ET, as the Moon is going to set in the western sky, and the sky is getting lighter in the east.” So for watchers in New York or Washington, D.C., the Moon will enter the external piece of Earth’s shadow at 5:51 a.m., but Johnston says it won’t be all that observable. The darker part of Earth’s shadow will start to cover some portion of the Moon with a reddish tint at 6:48 a.m. EST, however the Moon will set not as much as a half-hour later.
“So your best opportunity if you live in the East is to head outside about 6:45 a.m. furthermore, get to a high place to watch the start of the eclipse—ensure you have a clear line of sight to the horizon in the west-northwest,inverse from where the Sun will rise,” said Johnston.
If you live in the Central time zone, viewing will be better, since the activity starts 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 around 6:15 a.m. CST the Earth’s reddish shadow will be plainly perceptible on the Moon.
The eclipse will be harder to find in the helping 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 around 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.”
In the Rocky Mountain region, the show starts as the umbra touches the edge of the Moon at 4:48 a.m. MST. The pinnacle of the blood moon eclipse is at around 6:30 a.m. nearby time, and the Moon will set soon after 7 a.m.
Californians and viewers in western Canada will be treated to the total eclipse phase from start to finish, however the penumbral shadow will pass after the Moon has set. The umbral overshadow starts at 3:48 a.m. Pacific Time. At 4:51 a.m., totality will start, with best viewing between around 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. neighborhood time. The totality phase ends about 6:05 a.m.
Weather permitting, eclipse fans in Hawaii will encounter the lunar eclipse from start to finish, as will skywatchers in Alaska, Australia and eastern Asia.
If you miss the Jan. 31 lunar eclipse, you’ll have to wait almost another year for the next opportunity in North America. Johnston said the Jan. 21, 2019 lunar eclipse will be obvious all through the greater part of the U.S. and will be a supermoon, though it won’t be a blue moon.