It's the first time since 1866 that a blue moon total lunar eclipse has occurred.
With the blue moon, super moon, and blood moon happening all at the same time, there is no denying that the evening of January 31 this year is a date worth anticipating. On America's East Coast the eclipse will start coming into view at 5:51 a.m. and will give viewers in cities like NY only a small window to see the reddish moon. This rare event is a combination of three circumstances together: a total lunar eclipse, a blue moon, and a supermoon (blood moon).
The month's second full moon on January 31 is known as a blue moon. Apart from being a total lunar eclipse, it will be a blue moon, a blood moon and a super moon as well.
People living in North America, Alaska, Hawaii: the best visibility will be before sunrise on January 31 (Wednesday morning). A Supermoon is when the Moon is the closest to Earth and appears 14% larger than usual - while a Blue Moon is the second full Moon of a month, which is very rare as normally it happens only once a month.
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In the United States, the best view of the eclipse will be along the West Coast.
"So your best opportunity if you live in the East is to head outside about 6:45 a.m. and get to a high place to watch the start of the eclipse-make sure you have a clear line of sight to the horizon in the west-northwest, opposite from where the Sun will rise", said Johnston.
The eclipse will last nearly 3½ hours from the beginning of the partial phase at 3:48 a.m. PT until it ends at 7:12 a.m. PT, according to Sky and Telescope. "Unfortunately, eclipse viewing will be more challenging in the Eastern time zone". Calculations show that at its closest point to earth, the moon is 3,56,400km away while at apogee, or the farthest point of orbit, it can be at a distance of 4,06,700km. The red coloring is why the moon also gets the nickname of the "blood moon".