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Rare Super Blue Moon Total Lunar Eclipse | January 31

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - All Day | Cost: FREE
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“Supermoon” Night Over San Francisco

Thanks to an optical illusion in the sky, the moon will appear bigger and brighter than normal in the San Francisco Bay Area in the night, during what astronomers call a “supermoon.”

Because the sun is about 50,000 miles closer to the earth than at its furthest point – and it’s a full or new moon – the moon will appear larger and brighter than most full moons. To be considered a supermoon, it has to be within 224,851 miles (361,863 kilometers) of our planet, as measured from the centers of the moon and Earth.

The best time to observe the supermoon is when the moon is near the horizon during either moonrise or moonset, thanks to having objects in the foreground (like buildings or trees) to provide reference points for estimating the moon’s size.

Source: EarthSky

Wednesday, January 31, 2018
“Supermoon” Night Over San Francisco

This January 31st, something quite rare and special will happen. Be sure to look up in the sky to spot the supermoon, blue moon, and total lunar eclipse, also known as a blood moon, over San Francisco.

For observers in North America, it’s the first time all three of these phenomena will line up since 1866.

The Blue Moon – second of two full moons in one calendar month – will pass through the Earth’s shadow on January 31, 2018, to give us a total lunar eclipseTotality, when the moon will be entirely inside the Earth’s dark umbral shadow, will last a bit more than one-and-a-quarter hours. The January 31 full moon is also the third in a series of three straight full moon supermoons – that is, super-close full moons. It’s the first of two Blue Moons in 2018. So it’s not just a lunar eclipse, or a Blue Moon, or a Supermoon.

It’s all three, a super Blue Moon eclipse.

When’s the best time to view the Supermoon & Eclipse in SF?
The best time to see the biggest effect of the supermoon is right at moonrise and at moonset so you can see the moon against hills, buildings and the horizon – that’s when it “appears” to be at its biggest since you have something in your field of view to compare it to.

  • Total Lunar Eclipse is 4:51am to 6:07am on Wednesday morning, January 31st – Moon should be completely red during the total eclipse
  • Moonset on Wednesday monring (January 31st) is 7:18am
  • Moonrise on January 31, 2018 is 6:04 pm.
  • Moonset the next morning (Thursday, Feb. 1) is 8:06 am.

The lunar eclipse takes place over the Bay Area in the early morning of January 31, 2018

  • 3:48am – Partial Eclipse Begins – moon is getting red
  • 4:51am – Total Eclipse Begins – completely red moon
  • 5:29am – Maximum Eclipse – moon is closest to the center of earth’s shadow
  • 6:07am – Total Eclipse Ends
  • 7:11am – Partial Eclipse Ends
  • 7:18am – Moonset

This is also the last supermoon for 2018. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.


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