Astronomy blog

Not your normal Blue Moon

By Dave Samuhel, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
1/29/2018, 4:42:25 PM

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The second full moon of the month is almost here! It is not just a “blue moon” but also a supermoon. Lunar perigee is early Tuesday morning. Therefore, the moon will be close enough to Earth in its orbit to be deemed a supermoon. Granted, the full moon on Jan. 1 was bigger and brighter.

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So, we have a blue moon and a supermoon......BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! A full lunar eclipse will occur Wednesday as well! The moon, while fully eclipsed, is referred to as a "blood moon" since it appears to be dark red in color. Unfortunately, the East Coast of the U.S. will miss out on the total eclipse. But, most of the country, mainly west of the Mississippi River, will see a total eclipse. There has not been a blue blood supermoon over North America since 1866. Read more in AccuWeather Astronomy's Brian Lada's article.


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Ok, so where will be eclipse be visible? The East Coast will not see the total phase of the eclipse. But, the outer shadow of the Earth will dim the moon slightly before it sets. You basically have to be in the central time zone, or further west to see any of the total eclipse. For global eclipse coverage, check the official map from NASA here.

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In the dark green shaded areas, the moon will still be eclipsed while setting. in the lighter green shaded areas, the entire total eclipse will be visible before the moon sets.

Only the Rockies and West Coast will have the entire eclipse occur before moonset. The entire eclipse will be visible across the Pacific through eastern Asia.

Eclipse Viewing Conditions

static Lunar Eclipse Viewing Conditions 11 am

The latest forecast for sky cover (clouds) at the time of the eclipse. This graphic will automatically refresh with the latest forecast conditions.

After a busy start to the week, the midweek weather pattern looks to feature quieter weather. There will still be some cloud issues across North America. However, most locations have a shot at clear skies. Alaska (not visible on graphic) should be clear, but bitterly cold. A cold front will threaten Hawaii with clouds.

Eastern Hemisphere Viewing



Here is a forecast of cloud cover around the start of the total eclipse. This is a computer model. It is likely showing too much cloud cover across Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.



Asia (south view)


If you miss this moon, just wait until March. That month will also feature two full moons! However, neither will be "super" or feature an eclipse.

Not too many things are free anymore; however, looking at the night sky is still one of those things. Thanks for reading! Just look up, you never know what you will see.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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