Blue Moon to appear over Qatar sky on January 31

Blue Moon to appear over Qatar sky on January 31

"It's just a full moon turning darker so it's very safe to look at", says "backyard astronomer" Gary Boyle. The moon's 27.3 day orbit around the Earth is not quite a flawless circle, but rather an ellipse.

The confluence of three phenomena set this full moon apart from the rest of the regular, boring full moons, according to NASA. A full moon at perigee, which can be as much as 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than at the farthest point (apogee), is informally known as a supermoon.

In an eclipse, Earth is blocking the sunlight that usually turns the moon almost white. Traditionally, it signaled the third full moon in a season with four full moons.

In an interview with Newsweek, NASA planetary geologist Sarah Noble elaborated on what exactly is significant about this rare Super Blue Blood Moon. As Donald W. Olson, Richard Tresch Fienberg, and Roger Sinnott write for Sky and Telescope, the blue moon disagreement can be traced back to 1946, when James Hugh Pruett wrote an article for Sky and Telescope called "Once in a Blue Moon". "If last month's Full Moon were a 16.0 inch pizza, then this month's "Super" moon would be 16.1 inches". If there is a second moon in the same month it is called "Blue Moon" (not blue in colour). Usually, every calendar month only has one full moon, but sometimes, a second one squeezes in. January's first full moon occurred on Jan. 1.

And the "blood moon" business? "The moon does indeed turn reddish during the full eclipse-an effect of some sunlight passing through Earth's atmosphere getting scattered and bent".

"The Moon passes through different phases during Hijric Months (new crescent, first quarter, full Moon, second quarter etc.), and these phases depend on an angle of the Moon to the earth so it appears different every day, the statement issued by QCH Director Dr. Mohammed Al-Ansari said". Without a doubt the moon will be a little bigger and brighter in the sky than a usual full moon is, but only about 7 percent larger and 15 percent brighter than average.

The last total lunar eclipse visible on Earth was September 28, 2015.

While the January 31 lunar eclipse will be tough to see from some parts of the United States, there are other spectacular heavenly displays in store for Americans in the future. It will reach totality at 5:52 a.m., with greatest eclipse, the moon is deepest in the umbra, at 6:30 a.m. The eclipse makes its appearance just before the sun comes up.

For those in the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand, the "super blue blood moon" will be visible during moonrise on the morning of January 31.
The visibility of all three at once will vary, but you'll be able to see at least one or two of the events with the knowledge that all three are occurring for the first time in 150 years.

The unknown factor that might make the viewing of Wednesday's lunar eclipse here in Laramie a bust is the weather.

Unfortunately, there are some pesky clouds in the forecast.

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