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posted by janrinok on Friday January 05 2018, @06:28PM   Printer-friendly
from the still-waiting-for-the-hyper-ultra-mega-turbo-moon dept.

According to a report at phys.org, The moon is about to do something it hasn't done in more than 150 years:

Three separate celestial events will occur simultaneously that night, resulting in what some are calling a super blue blood moon eclipse. The astronomical rarity hasn't happened for more than 150 years.

A super moon, like the one visible on New Year's Day, is the term for when a full moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit, appearing bigger and brighter than normal.

On Jan. 31, the moon will be full for the second time in a month, a rare occasion—it happens once every two and a half years—known as a blue moon.

To top it off, there will also be a total lunar eclipse. But unlike last year's solar eclipse, this sky-watching event isn't going to be as visible in the continental United States. The best views of the middle-of-the-night eclipse will be in central and eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia, although Alaska and Hawaii will get a glimpse, too.

For the rest of the U.S., the eclipse will come too close to when the moon sets for the phenomenon to be visible.

Because of the way the light filters through the atmosphere during an eclipse, blue light is bounced away from the moon, while red light is reflected. The eclipsed moon's reddish color earned it the nickname blood moon.

Super blue blood moon?

So, an extremely noble or socially prominent moon? ;)

I wonder what differences, if any, there would be in the appearance of the Earth from a person standing on the moon, compared to a "normal" full moon?


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  • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Monday January 08 2018, @06:49PM

    by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Monday January 08 2018, @06:49PM (#619638) Journal

    I think you're mostly right, and the best theory is that more red-frequency light than blue is able to pass the rim of earth (the same Rayleigh scattering that gives us blue sky I think). There would be a corona around Earth as seen from the Moon (of the same collective color temperature as the moon itself). But I'm also saying don't expect that the surface of the moon around you would appear a blood red color, or even the overall shade your eye perceived when looking at the whole moon from Earth. If you're close to the edge where the tangent is lighting it with more yellow wavelengths, you might see a yellowy surface. If you're at the opposite point it might be duller orange indeed.

    Of all the lunar eclipses I've observed - low in elevation, high in elevation, early evening, midnight, late morning... None of them have been what I'd call red and all of them have had that tangent point of light yellow on one limb. (It's still totally awesome to watch the progression of the eclipse across the lunar surface through a telescope or with imaging. :) ) Others have historically observed exactly that, though. NASA suggests the redness is from the amount of dust in the atmosphere that would scatter the yellow/orange frequencies also. (Same as a dusty sunset...)

    I was also enlightened by both your post and these very interesting pages: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/news/dec2011-eclipse.html [nasa.gov] and https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4341 [nasa.gov] . Apparently the Lunar Reconaissance Orbiter can't run camera during the eclipse period but did run a Radiometer to measure surface temperature change. And I find it fascinating (though easily understandable) that you get instant lunar "night" temperatures during the eclipse - again on those pages.

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