27 Jan 2018

Super blue blood moon eclipse on the cards

3:09 pm on 27 January 2018

At a time of year when the sun tends to monopolise attention, the moon is getting in on the act with a triple whammy.

Blood moon

File photo of a blood moon. Photo: Pixabay

Three unusual lunar events will coincide on Wednesday night: a blue moon, a super moon and a blood moon.

A blue moon signifies two new moons during the same month, because the moon's orbit does not coincide completely with the calendar.

A super moon is when the moon gets the closest to earth.

And a blood moon or total lunar eclipse happens when the earth, sun and moon are all lined up, making the moon appear red.

Physics professor Richard Easther of Auckland University said even for someone in his profession, it was going to be a special event.

"To be corny, it's a majesty of the heavens...I don't want to wax too poetic but the same human instincts that makes the sky cool for everybody certainly works for astrophysicists."

It will be the first time a super blue blood moon has occurred on the same night since 31 March,1866.

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