ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - A special event is happening during the early morning hours of January 31. Most of the United States will witness a "super blood blue moon". This is a rare assembly because the last time this happened was March 31, 1866, over 150 years ago.
What exactly is a super blood blue moon?
A super moon is when it is full and it is closest to the earth in its monthly orbit. It will appear 14% brighter than normal. Perigee is a common term used when discussing a full moon.
A blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. The first full moon occurred January 2. A blue moon usually happens about every 2.7 years.
A blood moon means that a lunar eclipse is occurring. This is when the earth passes between the sun and the moon. The hue of the moon will change to a reddish-blood color. Most the time, it will not be the dark red-blood color, it usually looks more like a big peach. The color for the reddish tint is due to the light from the sun that passes through the Earth's atmosphere.
What to do?
Look up into the western skies and move into a clear spot with no obstructions. Moving to a higher ground would be better to see it all. There will be no special glasses needed.
The Central Time Zone will be able to view it the best. This is due to the moon being higher in the western sky according to NASA officials. The special event will be more difficult to view in the pre-dawning as the moon will begin to set just after 7:00 am on January 31.
For Central Louisiana the best time to view it:
NASA says that the best viewing will be from about 6:15 a.m. - 6:30 a.m. because of the partial eclipse will be underway and to avoid the pre-dawning of the sunrise and the setting of the moon.
Penumbral Lunar Eclipse Begins at 4:51 a.m. (Earth's penumbra starts touching the moon's face)
Partial Lunar Eclipse Begins at 5:48 a.m. (Moon starts getting red)
Total Lunar Eclipse Begins at 6:51 a.m. (Completely red moon)
Maximal Lunar Eclipse Begins at 6:56 a.m. (Moon closest to the horizon)
Looking at it around 6:56 a.m. could be difficult due to the moon starting to dip and the sun starting to rise.