Three-in-one: 'Super blue blood moon' occurs on Jan. 31

Updated 2018-01-28 10:24:02

Stages of the January 31, 2018 "super blue blood moon" (weather permitting)

A "once in a lifetime" spectacle will occur on January 31, which will be visible in the western part of North America, Alaska, and the Hawaiian islands.

Dubbed "Super Blue Blood Moon", the celestial event is special because of the following reasons.

Firstly, it is the third in a series of "supermoons", which occurs when the moon is closer to the earth. The phenomenon is also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a "blue moon". Then, the blue moon will move through the Earth's shadow, creating a total lunar eclipse in some areas. While that happens, the Moon will take on a reddish tint, known as a "blood moon", according to NASA.

It has been about 150 years since the three events happened on the same day.

"Weather permitting, the West Coast, Alaska, and Hawaii will have a spectacular view of totality from start to finish," said Gordon Johnston, program executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

"Unfortunately, eclipse viewing will be more challenging in the Eastern time zone. The eclipse begins at 5:51 AM ET, as the moon is about to set in the western sky, and the sky is getting lighter in the east," he added.

Other places that can observe the lunar trifecta include the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand.

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