Super Blue Blood Moon

The forthcoming super blue blood moon is one of the rarest occurrences in the night sky and it will be visible here in the Philippines on January 31 (Wednesday).

Here’s what you need to know.

A Blue Moon isn’t really about the color. Why it’s called a “blue moon”, nobody knows. It has a complicated history behind it but we’re here to talk about what a blue moon is. Basically this is what it is; a full moon only comes out once a month. But when another full moon appears in the same month, a very rare occurrence, it’s called a blue moon. This month we’ve already seen a full moon and now we’re going to see it again.

A supermoon is basically the moon looking very huge from Earth. It also doesn’t happen quite often. Supermoons only occur when the moon orbits close to the Earth.

A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth casts a huge shadow on the moon, making some parts of it look red because the light (from the sun) is refracted and scattered through the earth’s shadow. This light looks red for the same reason that the sunset looks red. Because of its reddish color, a total lunar eclipse is sometimes called a blood moon.

With that in mind, the forthcoming “super blue blood moon” is a very big deal for skywatchers. The fact that it’s a package; a blue moon, a supermoon, and a total lunar eclipse all in one -- is pretty impressive.