LOOKING AHEAD: "Super, Blood, Blue, Lunar Eclipse" later this mo - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

LOOKING AHEAD: "Super, Blood, Blue, Lunar Eclipse" later this month

Super Blue Blood moon terms Super Blue Blood moon terms

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The Grand Strand and Pee Dee are no stranger to celestial events, especially after the Great American Solar Eclipse last August. The end of January will feature another Lunar event, with several rare alignments happening simultaneously. 

January 31st, 2018 in the overnight hours is when you will need to look up in the sky to see the lunar eclipse with the added bonuses of a "Supermoon," "Blood Moon" and "Blue Moon."  

There's a lot of adjectives to describe this event, so here's a break down of each term. 

"SUPERMOON": The full moon appears larger in the night sky. This is because the moon is located closer in its orbit around the Earth, known as "perigee." According to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the "supermoon," can appear 30% brighter and 14% larger than a normal full moon. Supermoons The last "Supermoon" occurred a couple weeks ago on the night of January 1st. 

"BLUE MOON":  Simply put, it is the second Full moon in a calendar month, according to NASA. The first January 2018 full moon occurred the night of January 1st, the same night as the "Supermoon". The moon does NOT change color or appear blue during this time. In rare occurrences, the moon can appear blue due to wild fires, dust storms or volcanic eruptions. The phrase "Once in a Blue Moon," stems from a folklorist in Newfoundland over 400 years ago, according to space.com. "Blue moons" are fairly rare, but another one will occur this year in March 2018, followed by the next one on October 31st during Halloween 2020.

"BLOOD MOON": The scientific term is a "lunar tetrad" of four lunar eclipses in a row. The "blood moon" term comes from Christian authors popularizing the term as it relates to biblical prophecies.The last lunar tetrad occurred between 2014 and 2015. The next series of lunar eclipses will occur in 2032-2033, with about a total of 8 lunar tetrads happening between 2000 and 2100, according to Frank Espenak with Canada's Royal Astronomical Society. 

LUNAR ECLIPSE: In August 2017, the moon's shadow cast darkness on the Grand Strand and Pee Dee. This time, it will be the Earth that casts its shadow on the moon, blocking out some of the light from the supermoon the night of January 31st. The eastern U.S. won't be in "totality" this time around, as the totality path will be over the Atlantic Ocean. According to EarthSky, we will partially see this lunar eclipse around 6:48 AM along the Grand Strand and Pee Dee. 

Break out your binoculars and telescopes, skywatchers! More astronomical events are on tap for 2018, including planetary alignments, meteor showers and a comet passing by in December, according to National Geographic. 

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