ONCE IN A BLUE MOON: Spain gets super moon but misses out on blood one

BLUE MOON IN SPAIN: But no blood moon BLUE MOON IN SPAIN: But no blood moon Shutterstock

PEOPLE  around the world are getting excited at the prospect of seeing an incredibly rare 'super blue blood moon' – but, if you live in Spain you’ll have to make do with 'just' a super, blue moon.

Basically, a 'super blue blood moon' is the result of a blue moon (the second full moon in a calendar month) occurring at the same time as a super moon (when the moon is nearest to Earth and appears about brighter than usual) and a blood moon.

It’s a phenomenon that hasn't happened for 152 years. The last time in 1866 and the next will be January 31, 2037.

Oh, and there is a lunar eclipse too! But it will not be visible in South America, Africa and Western Europe.

According to scientist, Antonio Pérez Verde, the supermoon can be seen ‘without any problem’ in Spain on the night of the 30 to 31, although the eclipse will not be visible as it will happen at 2.30 pm on Wednesday.

Super moon

The orbit of the Moon is elliptical and, therefore, during the 28 days of the lunar cycle, it is sometimes closer to us than others. The supermoon occurs when it is closest and coincides with a full moon. It appears between 10% and 15% bigger and brighter than usual.

Blue moon

A full moon is considered a "blue moon" when two full moons appear in the same month. We have already had one in 2018 at the start of year.

Lunar eclipse

Also on January 31 a third phenomenon a lunar eclipse will occur. Less common than the supermoon and the blue moon it’s when the Earth, Sun and Moon align producing an eclipse.

The eclipse, however, will not be visible everywhere though - and not in Western Europe.

Blood moon

The last astronomical phenomenon that coincides on January 31 is the blood moon. During the eclipse, the Earth's atmosphere filters the blue and green light from the sun's rays but allows the red rays to pass giving the moon a the reddish hue. The blood moon will only be visible in the parts of the world where the eclipse can be seen.

Karl Smallman

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