INDIANAPOLIS — Americans can enjoy a special celestial event at the end of the month.
NASA says a “super blue blood moon” will be visible in the early morning hours on Jan. 31.
The full moon will be special for multiple reasons.
- It’s the third in a series of “supermoons,” when the moon is closer to the Earth and is about 14 percent brighter than usual.
- It’s the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a blue moon.
- The moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse.
- While the moon is in the Earth’s shadow, it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.”
NASA says viewing the eclipse might be challenging in the Eastern time zone, with the best viewing in the western U.S., including Colorado.
In Denver, the partial eclipse will begin at 4:48 a.m. in the western sky, a couple of hours before the moon sets, according to TimeandDate.com.
The total eclipse happens at 5:51 a.m. when the moon will be completely red. The maximum eclipse occurs at 6:29 a.m. before the total eclipse ends at 7:07 a.m.
It’s the first blue moon total lunar eclipse in the U.S. since March 1866, according to EarthSky.org.
And unlike the solar eclipse that raced across the country in August, watching the lunar eclipse without protection won’t affect eyesight.
The next lunar eclipse will be on Jan. 21, 2019, and will be visible throughout all of the U.S.