First Blue Moon lunar eclipse in 150 years to occur on Jan 31; when, where and how to see it


The first eclipse of 2018 will be a lunar one. It will happen on January 31 during the middle of the night, and the Pacific Ocean will be turned toward the moon at the time.

Central and eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and most of Australia will get a fine view of this moon show in the evening sky. However, for the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, the eclipse will already be underway as the Moon rises.

What is rare about this eclipse is that it involves the second full moon of the month – popularly referred to as a Blue Moon. This is happening for the first time in over 150 years.

Alaska, Hawaii and northwestern Canada will see the eclipse from start to finish. Moonset will intervene for the rest of North and Central America.

The duration of the total phase is 77 minutes, with the moon tracking through the southern part of the Earth’s shadow.

During totality, the Moon’s lower limb will appear much brighter than the dark upper limb, ‘Space.com’ reported.

After this year, the next time that a Blue Moon passes through Earth’s umbra will be on December 31, 2028, and, after that, on January 31, 2037. Both of these eclipses will be total.

Before 2017, there was an eight per cent partial eclipse on December 31, 2009, but the last total eclipse of a Blue Moon happened all the way back in March 31, 1866.

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